Lights How Do They effect sleep
Stress Its Involvement With Sleep
Caffeine & Alcohol How They Effect Our REM
  • Lights How Do They effect sleep
  • Stress Its Involvement With Sleep
  • Caffeine & Alcohol How They Effect Our REM

How To Improve Your Sleep.

We Spend A Third Of Our Life Sleeping So We May As Well Do It Properly
If you are struggling to sleep or would like to sleep better, keep reading.

It can seem that our life has just ramped up a speed and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. It's easy to find ourselves (especially in these uncertain and triggering times), in this day and age that we are always on the go, whether it be commuting to work, work itself, exercise, home chores, errands and side tasks that never seem to get done.

In our hectic lifestyle, we can often look forward to the moment when our head hits the pillow, we can rest and let our bodies and mind recover ready for the next day. And then you find yourself, tossing and turning, flipping the pillow over and back and annoyed at the fact the moment we have looked forward all day is also a struggle.

There are many reason why you might not be sleeping well but here is a few key 6 that can easily be changed.

1. You had a bit too much to drink

The first might not necessarily apply to falling asleep but we thought we cover this as it affects the quality of sleep & therefore the quality of rest & recovery. There seems to be a common myth that alcohol helps us sleep, but it has actually been found that alcohol messes with REM (Rapid Eye Movement), which results in overall poorer quality sleep. Short term effects of alcohol are feeling sleepy but other effect of it are that is dehydrates the body. While it may help you fall asleep ‘easier’, it only allows for a shallow, light sleep & prevents deep sleep which is when we do most of our recovery. Hence why you may fall asleep faster but feel more tired the next day. And so the cycle begins.

2. Your room isn’t dark enough

This a really pleasant and significant change you can make. When you decide to hit the hay, make sure your bedroom doesn’t have any lights on and doesn’t require you to turn any lights on. When exposed to light during the night, this tricks our brain to thinking its being exposed to sunlight and that it is time to wake up. This reduces our melatonin production (a hormone that causes sleepiness and lowers body temperature in preparation). Exposure from street lights, TV, bright digital alarm clocks, phone screens to a bright main light can kick you off to a bad start.

Of course you have to be able to go through your bedtime routine (also really important to helping prepare your body & mind) so we suggest if you do need lighting, candle light its the best however, might not be appropriate therefore, a Salt lamp is a great purchase. This provides a much softer, reddy orange light that is much softer and has far less impact.

3. Blue UV Lights

One of the worst things you can do is look at screens that are high in blue light i.e. phone screens! Blue light temperature is designed to keep you more awake and focussed hence why Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are heavy in blue colours and lights. They want to keep you on the platform for as long as possible so they can maximise profits. One of the best tips you can do is limit phone use 1 - 2 hours before bed, charge your phone outside the bedroom so you’re not tempted to look at your phone in bed.

If you are going to be using your phone or screens, adjust your phone settings to provide a softer, warmer light and invest in blue light blocker glasses (ideally with red visors) as these can at least make a massive difference.

4. Your Room is Too Warm

As humans we talk about creating cosy and warm homes yet, a room that is too warm can cause you to wake up multiple times in the night, whether your realise or remember it. This leads to a disrupted, broken sleep. Your body and brain like to cool down from a day of thinking & activities, so when you go to sleep, if your room or bed is too warm, this will hinder your chances in drifting off. This explains the amazing feeling we get with a cool pillow…

Prepping and having a window open before you go to bed can be a good idea to keep cool however, be aware of noise levels.

5. There is caffeine still in your system

Caffeine has an average half-life of 5 hours which means after 10 hours of drinking your caffeinated drink your body will still have one-quarter of the caffeine running through it. A lot of us drink more than one coffee a day, and often we can find ourselves making another one during the late afternoon / early evening. If you do enjoy a coffee, then try to drink as early as possible and don’t let it slip into the afternoon. Caffeine can also be found in fizzy drinks like coke, tea, chocolate and some medications.

Try to replace the boost you get from coffee with something else that has been shown to increase energy levels like short burst of exercise, sunlight and fresh air.

6. You’re overwhelmed or wound up

Finally, stress is the number one cause for sleep difficulty. Worries about work, finances, health, people can create feelings of anxiety which can cause difficulty in falling asleep or even the quality of sleep. To try and reduce this, some good personal treatments can be daily meditation. This helps us to connect with our thoughts & anxieties, observe them and create mental separation. Start with 2 minutes a day and slowly build. You’ll find that its like going to the gym for your mind and naturally you will be training that muscle to stay calmer and more relaxed throughout the day and during situations you might have previously found stressful.

Try writing down any anxieties you have, any thoughts, concerns or ideas to help offload. A to do list for the next day can also help you feel certain and ready which may help you ‘give permission’ to get some sleep.

If you try these things and they still don't work, don’t punish yourself. Do some things you find relaxing, such as reading a book or listening to some soothing music in a dimly lit room. Again candle light is best.

To summarise:
1. You had a bit too much to drink
2. Your room isn’t dark enough
3. Blue UV Lights
4. Your room is too warm
5. There is caffeine still in your system
6. You’re overwhelmed or wound up

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