A deep, restorative sleep is something we can really take for granted until such a time comes when the task of getting some shut-eye is, all of a sudden, out of reach. Missing out on sleep can wreak havoc on your body in a myriad of ways, but here we’re going to focus on the simple ways you can ensure you get a better night’s sleep, whether your lack of slumber is down to your diet, mounting stress in work or even jet-lag.
1. In today’s digitally driven world, many of us are glued to our phones right up until the very moment we drift off. This is one of the biggest contributors to poor sleep. Though it might take a few nights to notice an improvement, giving yourself a screen cut-off time will make a huge difference.
2. What’s more, ensuring your bedroom is a technology free zone is of paramount importance. The less stimuli around you, the better. Watching TV in bed might seem like a lovely idea when you’re at home with the flu, but watching TV late at night before you go to sleep will affect the quality of shut-eye.
3. These days, there’s plenty of sleep aids on the market, many of which draw on the powerful effects of lavender. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray marries lavender with vetivert and wild chamomile for a fragrance that soothes both the mind and body. There’s a reason it’s a bestseller; it works.
4. This seems like a no-brainer, but your caffeine intake should really be limited from 3pm onwards. And don’t forget, that doesn’t just include coffee. Some herbal teas pack more of a caffeinated punch than your standard cup of coffee. Chocolate’s full of it too. And as for alcohol? Though a glass may seem to take the edge off, alcohol can hugely impair your natural sleep architecture; have you ever had a decent, rejuvenating sleep after several drinks? Doubtful.
5. In terms of supplements and natural sleep aids that really work, various studies have confirmed that Cherry Active, containing the concentrated juice of Montmorency cherries, is a superfood powerhouse, among which its positive influence on sleep is included. A 2010 study demonstrated its natural effects, and it’s an easily available product in most good health stores.
6. On a hormonal level, your body requires a very delicate balance in order to function optimally. The main hormonal driver with sleep is melatonin. Increased stress levels cause the body to produce more stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can affect your body’s production of melatonin. In the morning, your body ups the cortisol to get you set up for the day. As the evening draws in, the cortisol starts to wane as the melatonin rises, getting you set for a restful night’s sleep. In circumstances where you’re continually stressed or anxious, your cortisol levels can remain elevated, and the melatonin has a pretty tough time of competing. Melatonin is a natural hormone, however in Ireland it requires a prescription so talk to your doctor if you’ve been suffering with ongoing sleeplessness.
7. Here’s one you can start practicing right away. The 4-7-8 sleeping trick. Touted by sleep enthusiasts the world over, this technique promises to have you fast asleep in sixty seconds. Now, it might take a little longer than 60 seconds at first, especially if you’re wired to the moon, but you will certainly feel considerably sleepier within minutes, making it easier to eventually drift off. According to Harvard doctor Andrew Weill, it’s as simple as this: breathe in for four, hold for seven and breathe out for eight, all the while making a slight whooshing noise. The combination of 4-7-8, he claims, works as a natural tranquilizer, allowing for more oxygen to permeate your lungs and brain which thus reduce your body’s stress levels, setting you up for a gorgeous 8 hours. Start by exhaling entirely. Then breathe in for four seconds, through your nose. Hold this breath for seven seconds before exhaling to a count of eight, as you allow for a whooshing sound through your throat, mouth open. Repeat three times…
Dr. Weill says: “Once you develop this breathing technique by practicing it every day, twice a day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. Use it to deal with food cravings. Great for mild to moderate anxiety, this exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.”
8. Lastly, never underestimate the powers of a relaxing massage to wash away your worries and condition you for one of the best sleeps you’ve had in weeks. Here at OSLO, while we’re known for our beauty treatments that guarantee instant results, we also offer a wealth of relaxing massage options. The best ones for de-stressing? Try the Carita Hot Stone Caress or the Indian Head Massage.
Carita Hot Stone Caress
Relaxing, sensorial massage with hot stones.
The ultimate body treatment to release tension and stimulate energy points. Each area of the body is massaged with smooth, heated volcanic stones and pampered to leave you feeling revitalised and refreshed. A truly magical experience.
BOOK NOW €90
Indian Head Massage
Enjoy this ancient healing head massage to relieve tension and revitalise the body. Includes the back, neck, shoulders and scalp.
BOOK NOW €70