Recently, I was looking up natural ways to improve sleep – outwith the use of dietary supplements and food. Of course, you can image discovered a lot. Here a few of the common tips that popped up:
- No Blue light an hour before bed [Phone screens, tablets] – this replicates sunshine and so wires your brain in to thinking it’s still daylight hours and this can make relaxing and sleeping a tough task for the body.
- Get into a rhythm – including the weekend. Have you ever had social jet lag on Monday? The weekend’s activities and lack of sleep creeps up on you by Monday Morning. Cue the Bob Geldof lyrics ‘I don’t like Mondays’.
- Take a bath – the raised body temperature can help induce sleep and drowsiness.
- No coffee before bed – try tea, herbal tea especially has a relaxing effect. Caffeine has a half-life of about 4 hours. Best to plan ahead.
- No emails/work after a certain time – can it wait till tomorrow? Last thing you want before bed is a head full of stress and anxiety towards the inevitable tomorrow.
- Meditate – this is great for those who burn the candle at both ends and don’t have time for themselves. 10 mins a day can help – lots of celebrities swear by Transcendental Meditation!
- Read a book before bed/ No T.V. – T.V. can get you all worked up, Not to mention that one Netflix episode turns into 2,3,4,5.
If you didn’t know about the above, it’s OK, I thought I would be slick and add them like their common knowledge, but their not. Truth is, for a better nights sleep the tips above are excellent to implement and adapt to your personal routine.
THERE’S MORE! I HAVE FOUND THE BEST TIP EVER!!!! [in my opinion]
Classical Music. It is beautiful, sweet, exciting, emotive and transcendental music. Classical music is a great sleep aid to the calming effect on the nervous system similar to meditation – hence transcendental. Listening to some classical music anywhere before bed has it’s place: in the car at after a long day, brushing your teeth, preparing tomorrows lunch, cleaning (heck, even during the end of a workout when we are stretching)! The music can calm the system and aid you in your pursuit to get a half decent nights sleep. Additionally, you may find that you rapidly fall into a deep asleep. It works wonders for me and I’m actually listening to some as I write this.
I would challenge anyone to not feel relaxed and calm when listening to Debussy’s Clair de lune before bed (video below). It’s a personal favourite of mine and played elegantly at the end of Ocean’s 11, when they team splits up at the water fountain – you know the film where Brad Pitt seems to be eating a yoghurt in every scene! (Am I the only one who visually images Brad Pitt eating in every movie?)
But It doesn’t have to be Debussy, it can be anything that is appealing to the ears. I’ll admit, Classical music is not the ‘kewlest’ genre and you may have already knew about this fact, it’s nothing new. But, it works a treat for me and I’ve really noticed an improvement on my decision making and clarity the next day. Maybe I want this to happen or not it has helped. Find whatever works for and whatever fits in well with your lifestyle!
Here are a few other interesting sleeping tips that you might find beneficial:
- A heavy Carbohydrate meal – Roughly an hour before bed, this can help induce sleep due to a rise and drop of blood sugar.
- Remove all electronic devices in your bedroom – Including phones, smart speakers etc. This has a link between people who are electrically sensitive.
- Electromagnetic radiation- WiFi can have an impact on sleep so it might be worthwhile to unplug (this is a physical and mental link to ‘shutting off’ distractions)
- No Phone at your bedside – The radio end electrical frequency is the culprit here.
- Complete darkness – That’s right Batman fans, Darkness IS your ally. Turns out that a little bit of light (natural or electrical) detected from your body has an affect on your sleep quality. I can testify to this:
- When visiting a friend in Germany there were electronic shutters on the windows and believe me, I had a sehr effizienter Schlaf!
Would you try listening to classical music before bed? Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried any of these tips or if you have any tips that I can add.