Is your first thought in the morning – ‘mmm…. coffee’? As evidenced by the numbers patiently queuing at Melbourne’s favourite baristas each morning – you aren’t alone!
Over half of us aren’t waking up feeling ‘refreshed’. And a good kick of delicious caffeine helps us start the day.
According to The Guardian, 70 years ago less than 8% of the population was trying to survive on six hours or less sleep a night, and by 2017 almost one in two people wasn’t getting enough shuteye.
The thing is.. feeling “refreshed” after a good night’s sleep isn’t a myth, but it’s becoming less and less common.
Neuroscientist Matthew Walker is committed to raising awareness about the importance of a good sleep for overall mental and physical health, including better immunity (a hot topic these days!), general vitality and longevity. His book “Why We Sleep”, and Ted Talk “Sleep is Your Superpower”, are well worth a look (although preferably not glued to a screen just before bed 😉 ).
Prof. Walker also includes some of these ideas in his comprehensive tips (Mums and Dads with little ones feel free to realistically skip the second one!):
“Create a sleep schedule. Having a consistent sleep routine is among the best ways to get more deep sleep per night. Take note of your average bedtime, then establish a sleep schedule around it…
Increase total sleep. The body has to cycle through multiple stages before getting to NREM (or non-REM) sleep. If you’re getting less than six hours of sleep per night, consider tacking on an additional hour or two of sleep to increase deep sleep.
Add exercise to your routine. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have better sleep quality than those who do not, whether you’re engaging in cardio workouts, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or another high-intensity exercise. Even 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day can help reduce stress and make it easier for your body to fall asleep at night.
Find ways to relax. Taking a bath or shower before bed, reading a book, or meditating before turning out the lights can positively impact your ability to sleep. Avoid meals or stimulants—coffee, nicotine, sugary drinks—and alcohol* before bedtime.
Practice good sleep hygiene by creating a relaxed, dark environment, turning off electronic devices, and eliminating environmental noise before bed.
Pink noise. Studies suggest that sound stimulation can help with deep sleep and that pink noise—random noises with a lower frequency than white noise—improves your deep sleep state. Pink noise may even lead to better memory retention upon achieving wakefulness”.
Check out this relaxing soundscape of pink noise, and sweet dreams!
The Stable Team
*Note: ‘Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes brain activity to slow down. Alcohol has sedative effects that can induce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, but the consumption of alcohol – especially in excess has been linked to poor sleep quality and duration’ (The Sleep Foundation).