Tips to get eight hours of sleep

Tips to get eight hours sleep-blog img-2

On average, we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Getting quality sleep depends on several factors. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to fall asleep soundly, so you wake up feeling refreshed. 

Physical exercise  

Physical activity can help in the process of falling asleep, as long as we exercise at the right time and with the right intensity. Exercising shortly before bedtime can disrupt our sleep, as the body can become too active (except in relaxing yoga exercises and other gentle forms of movement). 

Studies have shown that participants who exercise at least 2-4 hours before going to sleep tend to wake up less frequently during the night. 

Even if it’s a drag, try motivating yourself to get active in the morning. Your body will thank you for releasing serotonin, which is the happiness hormone that helps you kick start the day feeling focused and more energised.

Eating and Nutrition 

Having a light meal in the evening improves our sleep. We want to avoid going to bed on a full stomach, but also sleeping on an empty stomach. To keep the digestion process from disrupting the sleep stages, it’s best to leave at least 2 hours between eating a big meal and turning in for the night. 

After waking up, it’s important to drink something: water, unsweetened tea, or freshly pressed juice are your best options. If you don’t usually feel hungry in the morning, there’s no need to force yourself to eat right away.

Rituals 

Getting up at the same time every day is important for our circadian rhythm (the body’s 24-hour cycle). Ideally, we should avoid going to bed until we’re feeling tired and sleepy. Listening to our body is key! 

A tip to help us fall asleep and wake up more easily is by keeping the same sleep routine on the weekends, which strengthens the body’s internal clock.

Relaxation tips to get eight hours sleep

Mindfulness exercises offer a grid way to improve the sleep-wake cycle. In the evening, doing breathing exercises, autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation can help with going to bed feeling more relaxed. 

To improve sleep, also try taking a warm shower or bath. This raises the body temperature and causes the blood vessels to expand to cool the body down again – this mimics the same thing that happens in our bodies while we sleep, which is a great way to prepare for bedtime.

Digital sunset 

Since light disrupts the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is what makes us feel tired in the evening, we should all put down our electronic devices at least 2 hours before going to sleep. 

Short-wave and energy-rich blue light from smartphones, tablets and laptops have a particularly strong effect. TVs also emit this type of light, but since our distance is usually further away, it has a minor effect on the body. 

Similarly, it’s best to avoid reaching for our phone first thing in the morning. Allowing ourselves to wake up gently with natural light or music has a much more positive effect than going straight to our newsfeed or scrolling through social media. 

As soon as the alarm goes off, it’s also best to get up straight away instead of hitting snooze. After falling asleep again, we risk feeling even more tired upon waking the second time around. 

Sleeping environment

Ideally, it’s best to keep our bedroom temperature not too hot, not too cold, but just right. The recommended temperature is between 15-18 C. Of course, this may differ from one person to the other, but generally speaking, we want to keep the body as comfortable as possible to avoid waking up during the night. 

Stale and stuffy air can be bad for our health, so it’s also a good idea to air out the bedroom for 5-10 mins before. Heading to bed. This increases the oxygen supply and supports better sleep. Just make sure to keep an eye on the room temperature. 

Another good tip for a better night’s rest is to avoid caffeine after 4:00 p.m. After this time, stay away from coffee, energy drinks, and other caffeinated substances.  

Want to Improve your physical and mental well-being in the New Year?   

The Redmill Wellness app hosts relaxation and sleeps coaching programmes to help you with just that. Set weekly programmes, stay accountable and even join up with a colleague or friend to complete mindfulness or exercise challenges. 

Learn more about the Redmill Wellness app here: https://bit.ly/3e4H6I7 

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