Sleep, sleep, sleep. There isn’t a single one of us that doesn’t need more of it!
Picture this… You’re laying down in a comfy bed ready for some shuteye, but of course, what does your mind decide to do? Reassess every single life decision you’ve ever made. Twice.
These 7 tips are the key to a well adjusted nights rest, the best part is – they’re easily adapted into your evening routine – no hassle necessary.
1. Keep it cool
As part of your natural sleep mechanisms, a cooling process occurs to lower the core temperature of your body. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping in a room that’s between 16-17ºc best facilitates the natural sleep rhythms in the body.
SWIISH Tip: Leave the window open or a gentle fan on. You don’t need to make it as cold as the arctic – just slightly on the cooler side, that’s all!
2. Olfactory and memory
Your olfactory is the area of the brain responsible for processing smell. Of all your senses, smell holds the closest link to memory with women actually having many times the olfactory of men!
Utilising specific essential oils before bed allows your body to associate these with rest. Our SWIISH favourite essential oil to roll on each night is the UNWIND Essential Oil Blend, as it contains a mix of lavender, chamomile, and jojoba, all helping to calm the parasympathetic nervous system for sleep. As well as this, giving your pillow a quick spray with our UNWIND Lavender Sleep & Pillow Spray continues this state of relaxation throughout the night… Talk about rest and rejuvenation.
3. Lights out!
Whilst wearing a sleep mask at night is never a bad idea, there are actually photoreceptors over your entire body that respond to light meaning that head to toe darkness is imperative.
Due to light increasing cortisol in the body, ensuring that you sleep in a dark room will best accommodate a deep slumber. On the other hand, exposure to sunlight of a morning will ensure the hormones that regulate your sleep cycle (melatonin and cortisol) rise and fall effectively.
Speaking of sleep hormones… melatonin is the driving force behind your natural ability to sleep, inhibited by exposure to blue lights. With screens and devices in every corner of your home, you can thank nature for some mighty food sources that contain and produce melatonin.
The problem is that most of us don’t really feel like eating handfuls of cherries right before bed – let alone cacao, bananas, and all the other melatonin rich superfoods out there.
To minimise the fuss, we designed our SLEEP Superfood Powder using all the powerhouse ingredients for sleep to increase melatonin before bed. All you have to do is mix two spoons in a warm cup of milk 20-30 minutes before bed… then voila! It’s night-night for you (without the groggy wake-up feeling of sleep medication).
5. Detox powder
Drinking water is necessary, right? Of course! In fact, you yourself are made up of over 60% of it.
What isn’t necessary is the constant exposure to fluoride that accompanies this, due to the water supply having this mineral added to it to prevent tooth decay. The issue is that constant exposure to fluoride causes a build-up in the body, with much of this accumulating in the pineal gland (the area of your brain that produces melatonin).
Taken in perfect conjunction with our SLEEP Superfood Powder, our DETOX Tamarind Superfood Powder contains 100% tamarind which has been shown to enhance fluoride excretion from the body as seen in this study. Also containing high amounts of magnesium (our second favourite sleep enhancer), tamarind powder can best work its melatonin increasing effects when taken weekly on consecutive days.
6. Legs up and breathe
While an hour-long yoga class may not be everybody’s cup of tea, breath control and particular movements are extremely effective for promoting sleep.
The best pose (that you may not even need to leave your bed for!) simply involves lifting your legs up against a wall. This promotes blood flow back to the heart, without gravity adding stress to this process as it does when standing.
Whilst chilling here for 5 minutes with your legs up, incorporating the 4-7-8 breathing technique developed by Dr Andrew Weil has been shown to relax the body into a “rest and digest” parasympathetic state – necessary for deep sleep!
How to do the 4-7-8 breathing technique:
Breathe in through your nose slowly for 4 seconds
Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
Exhale out of your mouth for 8 seconds.
Repeat for around 4 breathing cycles.
7. Circadian rhythm & timing
Timing is everything – in life and in bed!
Acting as your “internal body clock”, some of you may have heard of the term circadian rhythm before, including the controlling effect this has on sleep. For your body to optimise one of its processes it needs to know when to produce all the hormones and neurotransmitters necessary – and sleep is a prime example!
If you are going to bed at 1 am one night and 9 pm the next, your body is never able to get into a regular cycle. To allow for a deep and restful slumber, the body works best when it is waking up and falling around the same time every day.
SWIISH Tip: We suggest challenging yourself to just 1 week of waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. This will allow your circadian rhythm to get into a good routine and who knows – you might just figure out a sleeping schedule that is the perfect match for you!