How to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep

Having trouble sleeping? Read our handy tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep!

21 June 2022

  • Sleep
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Time it right…

When you fall asleep is crucial part of improving your sleep quality. The first thing you should do is to try to fall asleep at the same time and wake up at the same time. Pick a time and set an alarm in the morning and the evening that realistically suits your schedule, and stick to it every day. This allows your body to programme itself to naturally fall asleep and wake up at the correct time, and reduces the risk of you oversleeping or under-sleeping.
So, pay extra attention to going to bed at a certain time, and you will find yourself sleeping naturally a lot easier!

Control your caffeine consumption…

We don’t recommend drinking a strong cup of coffee before bedtime, obviously. But, what a lot of people don’t realise it that the caffeine you consume throughout the day may still be in your system when you try to go to sleep.
The average cup of instant coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine. Even 5 hours after consuming this, there will still be 50mg of caffeine left of that original cup left in your system.

So with that in mind, make sure you’re timing your caffeine fixes correctly, we recommend keeping your caffeine to under 200mg a day and not to drink caffeinated drinks after midday, to give your body time to process before the most important time of the day – sleeping!

Lastly, check the labels of your food and drinks, and make sure you’re not consuming any excess caffeine without your knowledge – it tends to hide in the food you least expect, even ice cream!

You booze, you lose…

Alcohol is controversial when it comes to quality of life, let alone when it comes to quality of sleep.

It’s not a secret that alcoholic drinks affect both your body and mind, but how can it affect your sleep?

Some would argue that alcohol aids poor sleep as it makes you drowsy, but when you look at the science, this is not the case. Although it may make you fall asleep faster, the quality of your sleep will not be in anyway good, as it disrupts your REM cycle – the deepest and desired level of sleep.

REM (short for rapid eye movement) plays a crucial role in memory, emotional processing and healthy brain development. If you don’t get enough REM sleep, it causes sleep deprivation, which in turn causes;

  • Concentration difficulties
  • Tiredness throughout the day
  • Foggy memory and forgetfulness

So, its within your interest to reduce the booze! Limiting your alcohol intake will help you confront these problems. But remember, consistency is key – it might take a few alcohol-free nights to really feel the benefits when you sleep, but stick at it, and reap the benefits.

Stop your scrolling…

Smartphones are used for everything now aren’t they. Most of us use our phones for both professional AND personal purposes, which makes it so hard to actually “switch off” from them. Even when you put your phone down, it doesn’t necessarily mean your brain has switched off from your socials.

Not only can screens cause eye strain and effectively make your brain more “lazy”

That bright synthetic blue light your phone or laptop emits deliberately suppresses the sleep hormone Meletonin. Your body is triggered to produce melatonin when it’s surrounded by darkness, so screens and scrolling has the opposite effect, especially if it’s the last thing you see before you close your eyes.

How can we solve this issue?

You don’t have to completely throw your phone away in order to get better sleep. It’s about prioritising how you use it. Some people find it helpful to delete apps they use out of boredom, or cap how long they spend on social media. Some prefer to have dedicated “screen-free” hours per day, so they can spend time doing in-person activities, instead of wasting away by boredom scrolling.

The more you scale back the screen time, the more your mental health will thank you. People forget that phones are still a very new thing, and as with everything, should be used correctly and within moderation.

Get moving…

Exercise is one of those things some of us struggle to find the time and motivation to do. But it’s been found to be is one of the most effective ways to improve your sleep. Once you start incorporating more movement into your daily routine, the discipline outweighs the lack of motivation.

Much like everything in improving your sleep, you should do what’s right for you. Whether it’s incorporating a 20 minute walk in your lunch break, joining a yoga class in your local area, or coming up with a gym plan with a close friend, its about trying things out and whatever works for you, go for it!

Moderate-to-vigorous exercise has been found to reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep, and shortens the time you spend awake in bed. So if you are really struggling with your sleep pattern, a more energetic exercise option might suit you better.

One thing to keep in mind though is, that for some people exercising right before bedtime might do more harm than good, as it produces adrenaline. Much like caffeine, adrenaline is a stimulant, so scheduling your workouts accordingly is also very important.

Sleep in the correct conditions…

There isn’t a universal single-solution for the perfect conditions in which people get the perfect nights’ sleep, but there are little things you can do to put yourself in a good position to fall asleep in.

Reduce the amount of light in your room as much as possible, and make sure your bedroom is clear of clutter BEFORE you get into bed, otherwise you might be tempted to get up and tidy halfway through the night. Relaxing scents like lavender can help you remain calm, and remember to make sure the room isn’t too hot (the ideal temperature to sleep is around the 16-18 degrees mark).

Other ways to compliment your sleep routine...

  • Eye masks –- There are a perfect way of great way to block out any residual light you’re unable to remove from the room, and will help you remain undisturbed throughout the night.
  • Ear plugs – An effective way of blocking out unwanted or surprise sounds, helping you to remain uninterrupted while you sleep.
  • Weighted blankets – Some studies show weighted blankets to use deep pressure stimulation, stimulating the mood-boosting hormone Seritonin, and reducing the stress hormone Cortisol, overall improving your sleep quality.
  • Supplements – While no pill or tincture can replace a balanced diet combined with a healthy amount of exercise and a healthy lifestyle; there are several vitamins, minerals and extracts that can contribute to a good nights’ sleep that are worth exploring.

At Green Stem, we hold a good nights sleep in the highest regard, so much so that we’ve created our own Night Time CBD Sleep Tincture.

Improve your sleep quality with our Night Time tincture

As well as including our award-winning CBD, our sleep tincture is enhanced with sleep-supporting ingredients such as magnesium (beneficial for lowing blood pressure) and zinc (a well-known sleep aid). The combination of these ingredients can help ease you into a well-deserved restful nights sleep, leaving you feeling revitalised and ready to face the day when you wake.

Sources

  1. WebMD (https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20130118/alcohol-sleep)

  2. Drinkaware (https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-sleep)

  3. Harward Health Publishing (https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side)

  4. Sleep Foundation (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/blue-light)

  5. Sleep Foundation (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/caffeine-and-sleep)

  6. Sleep Foundation (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/exercise-and-sleep)

  7. Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/do-weighted-blankets-work)

  8. Medical News Today (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cbd-and-sleep)