Sleep Smarter: How to Optimise Your Sleep

Short-term effects of sleep deprivation can lead to unhealthy food cravings and bad moods.

 

Long-term effects of sleep deprivation have much darker consequences 😟

 

Long-term sleep deprivation is associated with almost every chronic disease there is, such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's and even obesity!

 

If you don't get enough sleep, it causes a lot of stress on the body

 

It also affects our brains. It negatively affects memory, cognitive function, decision making and learning. 🧠

The Main Reason Why You Can't Sleep.

A Circadian rhythm is your natural sleep and waking patterns. It's just a fancy word for your "body clock".

 

As the sun sets, your brain tells your body to release melatonin, which makes you sleepy and ready for bed.

 

When the sun rises your body stops releasing melatonin and releases Cortisol to give you energy and wake you up. 

 

As you can imagine, nowadays a lot of the time our bodies have no idea when it is daytime and when it is night-time. 

 

We are constantly exposed to unnatural light at night which decreases our melatonin.

 

Especially as a result of Blue Digital Light.

 

The blue light from your cellphone or TV, cause your brain to decrease melatonin production. 

 

The blue light causes your body to think that it's daytime. 

 

It then releases Cortisol instead of Melatonin making it much harder to fall asleep.

 

Even if you do fall asleep your sleep quality is much poorer and you can wake up feeling tired even if you got enough sleep.

Best Ways to Improve Your Sleep:

1. Have Caffeine Before Noon

Caffeine stays in your system for at least 6 hours, so if you drink a cup of coffee at 3 pm, the caffeine will still be in your system at 9 pm. 

 

It depends on what time you plan to fall asleep, but as a rule of thumb, try not to consume caffeine after 12:00 p.m

 

Even if you manage to fall asleep after consuming caffeine, your sleep quality is poorer

 

Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, but it still affects everyone, even if you don't notice it as much.

2. Avoid Digital Blue Light 90 minutes before bed.

If you struggle to avoid blue light an hour and a half before you sleep, try making smaller changes at first.

 

  • You can change the setting on your device to a warmer, dimmer display, such as “night shift” on Apple devices. 
  • Get yourself a pair of Anti Blue Light Glasses.
  • Try to avoid blue light 30 - 60 minutes before bed.

3. Expose Yourself to Morning Light

Exposing yourself to morning light helps you sleep better in the evening. It does this by helping you set your circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep-wake cycle.

 

4. Exercise in the Morning

Exercise will also help regulate your circadian rhythm

 

Moving your body in the morning instead of being sedentary will also help your sleep-wake cycle.

5. Try to go to Sleep at the Same Time Every Night.

If you have big fluctuations in the time you fall asleep every night, it will negatively affect your body clock (circadian rhythm).

 

6. Make Sure your Room Temperature is Cool.

When it’s time for your body to rest, your core body temperature automatically drops to help initiate sleep. 

 

If your room is too hot, it can take longer for your core body temperature to drop, which will affect your sleep.

 

*Exercise should also be avoided later in the evening, as it takes longer for the body to cool down.

7. Quieten your mind before bed 

 

If you are doing everything right, but your mind is racing right before you go to bed, you will find it difficult to sleep. 

 

We suggest distracting yourself from these thoughts in a way that works for you. 

 

  • Listen to a guided meditation. 
  • Read
  • Have a cup of your favourite tea (Preferably Chamomile to help sleep)
  • Relax

8. Limit Alcohol and Other Unnatural Sedatives

Alcohol helps sedate you, but being sedated and having good quality sleep are two very different things. 

 

REM sleep is significantly disrupted by alcohol being in your system. You won’t be able to fall into deeper levels of sleep, and your brain and body won’t be able to rejuvenate fully. 

9. Take Valerian Root, Hops, Chamomile & Passion Flower.

Valerian Root reduces the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, as well as improves sleep quality.

 

Hops is most commonly found in beer but also has sedative effects.

 

Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer.

 

Passionflower boosts the level of GABA in your brain. This compound lowers brain activity, which can help you relax and sleep better.

 

Find these ingredients in Sleepy Caps.