It’s no secret that I don’t get much sleep, and yet the irony of it all is that I am tired ALL the time. You think with that I would be able to get good solid sleep every night, but let me tell you – it is not the case.
Here’s the crazy thing about sleep though, did you know it has SO many benefits apart from making you feel less tired?! Sleep is one of the most healing things you can do for your body, plus it lowers cortisol and lets be honest we could ALL do with that!
I spoke to Naturalmat’s resident sleep expert Christabel Majendie who explains why sleep is so important, and how to spot the lack of sleep signs…
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep plays a vital role in our entire body. When we sleep our bodies rest, this conserves energy, decreases blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and body temperature. Furthermore sleep also causes the brain to remain active in order to restore daytime mental functioning and carrying out different processes that lead to physical growth.
Sleep is important to control your body temperature and energy use, it is also key to keep your immune system working. In children its key to repair tissues and stimulate growth and can also regulate your appetite and weight by controlling your blood glucose levels. Energy levels after healthy sleep are higher, and your mental awareness is more acute. Good sleep is also tied to improved athletic performance including greater speed, agility and reflexes.
The lack of sleep signs
Skipping and not prioritising sleep night after night can become a big problem, there are many signs which alert you if your lack of sleep is damaging your health. If your body doesn’t get a chance to fully recharge, you’re already beginning the next day at a disadvantage, if you find yourself feeling drowsy, irritable and sometimes depressed, struggling to take in new information at work, remembering things and craving more unhealthy foods then these are all signs of lack of sleep.
So that’s the science bit out the way.. now what about how to get more sleep? I have been trying out and testing all sorts of tips and tricks over the last few months, really focusing on getting more than a couple of hours zzzz a night!
I’ve found myself using these 5 tricks religiously so of course I just needed to share with you all what has been working for me, with hopes that they can do they trick for you too!
- Sleep Spray – Sleep sprays have been floating around for a while now, and I have only actually started testing one out since Christmas. I use to think they were a waste of money, but my god I was so wrong. I religiously use my Mad Beauty ‘Fit for a Princess’ Lavender Pillow mist that my mum bought me as part of a sleep set at christmas. Not only does it smell divine but I have found I unwind a little better before bed and have higher quality sleep with this beauty of a product.
- Podcasts – Strange one on the list right? We all know that phones are bad for us before bed but sometimes it is hard to switch off and relax and if you are anything like me, you like a little background noise for the bedroom. Weirdly I am one of those people who cannot fall asleep with the TV or Netflix on, I end up waking up more so this is where a podcast has been a life saver. I whack my fave podcast on every night, set the sleep timer on for 30minutes and honestly I am out within minutes. Its just so comforting having a nice voice talking in the darkness and tbh I don’t think I have finishsed a podcast episode yet
- ZMA – What the hell is ZMA you ask? This dandy little word is a Zinc, Magnesium & Vitamin A supplement which is a must have in my opinion. I have been taking this for 4 months now and I have seen a huge improvement in my REM sleep (thanks Fitbit for the data!). As this source states: Magnesium: Responsible for over 600 reactions within your body, magnesium can improve relaxation and enhance sleep quality
- Cutting out alcohol – Now some people are super lucky and end up getting the best sleep of their lives after a few drinks but not me. One drop of the beer or gins and I have the worst nights sleep ever. According to this article Alcohol use is actually detrimental to sleep and can cause insomnia and be extremely disruptive. Cutting out the alcohol me has meant I have better overall sleep each week and don’t wake up at awful hours at the weekend too when I could actually get a little more time in the bedroom.. snoozing of course!
- CBD – This is a new one for me and can be quite controversial. Ever since CBD blew up over here I have been very interested in the effects it can have and all the positives that have been promoted, especially for pain relief and sleep. I recently bought myself a Vape to try with CBD oil and shockingly the first time I used it before bed, I got a solid 9 hours of sleep which is unheard of. Since using it daily I have noticed a lot of improvements in my overall pain and health and I am still a little dubious what a little puff of clouds can do.. but will continue to trial vaping CBD and will share a more indepth post of my experience at a later date.
So there you have it, my top 5 tricks for getting better quality sleep this World Sleep Day (2019)
Have you used any of the tricks above? I am definitely more intrigued to hear of any more experiences regarding CBD so let me know in the comments your thoughts!
Lots of love, S x