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The anatomy of a good night’s sleep.

Sleep

Does a good night’s rest seem more like a luxury than a regular occurrence? If you answered ‘yes’ you aren’t alone. A good night’s sleep is vital to our wellbeing, yet modern day living often gets in the way. Factors such as noise pollution, temperature and even the foods you eat can all influence your body’s ability to rest and recover.

A poor night’s sleep can be felt immediately, affecting physical performance and brain function. Prolonged lack of sleep can cause weight gain and increase your susceptibility to disease. Not getting enough sleep can put you at a disadvantage, and this is a problem that we can solve together. 

What to do

Luckily, getting a restful sleep can be as easy as changing your bed frame. By making small adjustments to your lifestyle, you can expect to have consistent, energizing sleep. Your body keeps track of time with its own internal clock, known as your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm tells your body when its time to wake up, feel sleepy etc.

Helping your circadian rhythm keep track of time can be done by getting enough sunlight during the day and having set times in which you go to bed and wake up. Exercising during the day, as well as eating a balanced diet will also help your body maintain a natural rhythm.

What to avoid

Taking irregular naps at random hours of the day can mess up your body clock and make it harder for you to sleep when you need to. The levels of blue light emitted from computer and smart phone screens can also trick your body into thinking its daytime, which in turn stops your body producing melatonin, a chemical that helps you feel tired.

Eating before bed is another sure-fire way of having an interrupted sleep, as your body tries to digest your last meal. Caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided in the evening for reasons listed above.

How to set up

Setting up your bedroom properly can help you get a peaceful rest.  Bed frame placement is important, you will want to sleep in the quietest part of the room. If you are sensitive your light, making sure all electronics are turned off can help your eyes rest and remove any unwanted stimuli from your space. Temperature can also play a role in sleep quality: everybody has a different preference, but it seems an ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius is a popular temperature for achieving quality sleep.

A good quality bed frame and mattress can make all the difference so don’t be afraid to check out your local bedding store and try out some combinations. All of us are built differently, there is no point battling it out every night on a single bed base when you so obviously need that queen bed. Don’t skimp on bedding and pillows!

Just in case

If all the above methods have failed, then you may want to consider supplements like melatonin to give your body a helping hand, sometimes our bodies don’t produce enough sleep aiding chemicals. If sleep feels impossible, there is a chance you may have a sleeping disorder. If you are having trouble sleeping every single night and nothing seems to be working, please don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.

Sleep is a vital function our bodies must perform; without it our cells would not repair. We need to sleep like we need to eat drink and breathe so its important that we help our bodies fulfil this need. Getting a good night’s rest has innumerable benefits but unfortunately can be hard to achieve. 

By adopting healthier lifestyle changes, as well as setting up our sleeping environment we can hope to see better quality sleep, more of the time. 

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