Posted on June 05 2018
Top 5 Secrets for the Best Night’s Sleep – Part 1, Relax!
Relaxation is an obvious prerequisite for a good night’s sleep, but it’s not always that easy to obtain.
Scientific studies make a clear connection between stress and insomnia - highlighting the importance of employing relaxation techniques that help manage stress, and promote a sound and restful sleep.
Sleep plays a critical role in our overall health and well-being, and stress and sleep have a complex, intertwined relationship. Whilst stress and anxiety can trigger insomnia and other sleep problems, lack of sleep can in turn increases stress and anxiety, in a dangerous snowball effect.
So what steps can you take to help manage stress, wind down, and get the relaxation you require for a good nights sleep?
Our top 3 tips to relax before sleeping:
1. Totally unplug your devices
You should enforce a 2-hour screen free period before bed. Though you may argue that your phone, tablet or TV help you relax in bed, they are probably causing more harm than good.
As the National Sleep Foundation explains, the problem with staring at a screen before bed is that the light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions reduces the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your natural sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. This ultimately causes you to be more alert when you should be winding-down towards sleep.
In the immediate lead-up to sleep, Harvard Health recommends using low blue light emitting devices such as e-readers, using dim red lights for nightlights, and consider blue-light cancelling applications that you can install on your devices.
2. Regular massages before bed
Receiving a massage is a well-known way to relax your mind and body, but is also proven to have a positive impact on the chemistry of sleep. Integrative Healthcare research on ‘Insomnia, Serotonin and Massage’ explains how massage therapy increases the body’s serotonin levels, which is essential for the production of sleep-inducing melatonin.
For these reasons, Sleep Review Mag identifies massage as a “smart, healthy, and drug-free option that has helped many people overcome insomnia.”
So whether you seek professional massage therapy, or can convince your partner to provide a relaxing pre-sleep rub down, a massage is a proven natural aid to help you get a good night’s sleep.
3. Get busy between the sheets
Speaking of natural aids, new research examined by Health.com suggests that a sex right before bedtime might be the key to falling and staying asleep.
These findings suggest that sex does not only promote sleep by tiring us out and releasing anxiety, but there is also a chemical effect associated with the hormones produced during intercourse that help you relax before bed. After an orgasm, your body releases certain hormones that bathe your brain in feelings of tranquillity, such as oxytocin (also known as the cuddle hormone) and dopamine, a neurotransmitter that triggers feelings of pleasure. Sex can also lower levels of cortisol, the hormone related to stress.
These changes in hormone levels leave your body feeling naturally more relaxed, resulting in a pleasant transition into sleep.
So as part of your pre-bed routine make sure you allocate some time to relax. Do some reading, listen to relaxing music, have a warm bath, and pay less attention to your phone and more attention to your partner in the bedroom… because an investment in better sleep is an investment in your fundamental health and well-being.
Now G'on, and get to bed! #Rollova