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How to sleep better

How to sleep better

Good quality sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing. And yet the quality of our sleep seems to be affected far more than it should be. Recent research[1] found that 36% of UK adults reported struggling with getting a good night’s sleep.

For those who suffer with severe insomnia, it can become all-consuming and start to significantly affect mental health and wellbeing. Severe Insomnia needs to be treated under the care of medical professionals.

But for those of us who just feel our general sleep quality could do with improvement, there are some simple solutions to help with how to sleep better at night naturally:

A Good Bedtime Routine

One of the best ways to sleep better is to introduce a routine before bed. These have been shown to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of relaxation[2].

A bedtime routine can be a very powerful tool to prepare for sleep as it also helps regulate your circadian rhythm by giving your body something to recognise as a cue to get sleepy. This can be particularly helpful if you do shift work or can’t maintain a regular consistent bedtime.

An example of a bedtime routine is as follows.

[1] Have a relaxing drink like a Chamomile or Ashwagandha tea around 1-2 hours before bedtime.
[2] Give bedroom surfaces a quick tidy and ensure the room is cool with ambient lighting to provide a peaceful environment prepare for sleep.
[3] Relax your body – eg taking a bath, yoga, meditation. These can be interchangeable, so you can mix them up and not have to do the same one each night. The main thing is you are carving out some time to care for your body and help it to relax.
[4] Self-massage helps stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your body’s most efficient way of providing instant calm. Just massaging in your moisturiser more slowly and consciously can make a difference.
[5] Fight off the urge to watch TV or scroll your phone. It will really help if you’re able take a break from this type of stimulation just before bed.

    The Right Type of Light

    Sensors in our eyes detect different types of light to tell our body when it is time to feel alert and awake, and when it is time to feel tired and produce melatonin - the hormone that helps us sleep.

    Blue / White light = time to wake up.

    Orange / Red light = time to feel sleepy.

    The theory for this is that orange / red light is more akin to nature’s night-time lighting, such as firelight and sunsets, while blue / white light from devices and white LEDs simulates daylight. 

    So, one of the easier ways to improve sleep is to make simple changes to your exposure to light:

    [1] Make sure you get exposed to as much daylight as possible in the morning and at lunchtime. Daylight alarm clocks can help with this in winter.
    [2] Switch your lightbulbs to be warmer, more orange coloured light rather than brighter, white light. Especially in your bedroom. Try using candlelight when you have an evening bath.
    [3] Ideally stay away from smartphones and devices for at least 2 hours before sleep. Or if this isn’t possible, change your settings to automatically switch to ‘night mode’ in early evening which provides a more gentle orange backdrop.

      Take a warm Magnesium Bath

      Not only is this deeply relaxing and calming before bed, but sleep researchers in Texas have now discovered that taking a bath before bed is one of the easiest ways to improve sleep quality[3].

      The research of over 5,000 people shows that bathing in water of around 40°C 1-2 hours before sleep not only improves how quickly we fall asleep (around 32% faster) but also helps us stay asleep for longer.

      Boosting your bath with Magnesium is known to be a quick and easy way to calm and relax the body at bedtime for a deeper night’s sleep. You can read more about the science of this here.

      Westlab Sleep Bath Salts for a peaceful night’s sleep

      At Westlab we have worked for years to create bath salts which offer solutions to real life problems. As so many people suffer from insomnia, fatigue and struggle to fall asleep at night, our bath salts incorporate tried and tested ingredients for natural sleep support.

      Westlab Sleep Bath Salts are made with Epsom Salt which is rich in Magnesium to relax mind and body, blended with Dead Sea Salts to comfort and soothe the skin.

      They also contain the sleep-inducing extracts of Lavender, Jasmine and Valerian, so are perfect to use in the evening for a deep and restful night’s sleep.

      Our Sleep Bath Salts are 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free, so you can sleep easy knowing you are using skin-friendly natural ingredients too. 

      Our recommendation would be to add 1-2 cups of Sleep Bath Salts to a warm bath of around 40°C about 90 minutes before bed. Relax and enjoy drifting off into a deep and peaceful night’s sleep.

      ----- Source & Literature References ----


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