Whether you’re a desk jockey or a real jockey, sleep matters! Pro athletes know that your body needs rest to build muscle. Our bosses know we need rest to be active in meetings. And our significant others know we need rest so we just don’t kill them in the morning.
Sleep is not only important for our physical and mental rejuvenation, it has lasting effects on our overall well being. Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can literally kill you over time. Your brain needs time to replenish and defrag. Our bodies need time to rest and smooth out our backs from all those hours sitting in front at a desk or working hard in the labour force.
- Better Mattress
The mattress you sleep on matters more than you’d expect. Studies have shown that sleeping on a bad mattress not only prevents a good night’s sleep, but it also can damage your posture and result in long term health symptoms. Doctors recommend a sturdy mattress that allows natural back support, while not restricting natural positions of the shoulder and hip. As our grandparents always said, “Always spend money on a good mattress and pair of walking shoes.”
- Exercise Earlier
Most people don’t stop to think about how exercise affects sleep, but it can have a huge impact on your quality of sleep. It can either help improve overall sleep, or keep you up for hours. First, let’s point out the benefit of exercising. Exercising and burning energy and endorphins can is vital for being able to properly sleep. If you sit around all day, good chances are that your body has too much built up energy for you to fall asleep as easily. Inversely, if you exercise too late at night, your body will be pumping with endorphins which can keep you up for hours. Doctors generally recommend that you do Not exercise within three hours of going to bed. For some people, the gap of time between exercising and sleep may even need to be longer. If you want to play it safe, exercise in the mornings or immediately after work. You really just want to avoid not exercising at all, because you need it to stay healthy and sleep well, and you do not want to exercise too close to your bedtime.
- Turn off the TV
We all know there’s nothing better than an episode of Game of Thrones with a glass of wine at the end of a long day, however your choice of entertainment might be keeping you up later than you realize. Studies have shown that watching TV before bed can strain the eyes and provide too much blue light, which is linked to poor sleep quality. Watching TV can make you have trouble falling asleep as quickly, so we encourage you to have a cutoff time before bed and suggest reading a book or some other relaxing entertainment that does not consist of a digital screen or emission of light. This would include tablets, computers, and phones all having similar results as a TV. So just play it safe and switch to reading. Besides, Game of Thrones is also available as books.
- Conditioning (aka the “Sleepy Time Socks” method)
Humans are adept at creating habits. But did you know you could condition your brain to sleep on call? Just like Pavlov’s dog, humans can also train themselves to sleep at the sight of pre-selected triggers. A popular method stress management professors teach is the Sleepy Time Socks method. Simply put on a clean pair of socks every night before going to bed. Yep, that’s it! The socks must be clean, as our brains naturally don’t like to sleep in dirty clothes or sheets...that reminds me, you should probably wash your sheets too. You should also go to bed at the same time every day. This helps create a routine and pattern. Your internal clock is stronger than you think, and if you follow these simple steps every day, before you know it you’re body will be falling asleep within minutes of putting on your sleepy time socks!
- All Natural Remedies
All natural remedies are the healthiest and easiest way to get better sleep. Unlike prescription medicine, all natural remedies do not have negative effects on your health, are not addictive, and have been used throughout the ages to help people naturally sleep better. Herbal teas have been used for centuries, predating the Egyptian era. Ointments are also popular, as well as essential oils to soothe your body into a naturally relaxed state-of-mind.
The most recent, and promising, natural remedy to help people get better sleep is hemp products. Hemp comes in various forms and can be taken with your favourite foods or tea for better sleep.