With chronic sleeplessness linked to everything from obesity to depression, high blood pressure and diabetes, getting enough shut-eye tops the to-do list for many of us. But if you’ve counted every sheep in NZ and slumber still eludes you? Don’t despair! Climb under the covers as we reveal seven simple steps for a good night’s sleep.
1. Avoid alcohol
While a few glasses of wine with dinner may seem like the best way to ensure sound sleep, it’s not. While you’ll likely drift off sooner, drinking alcohol often results in disrupted slumber. And that’s without the extra bathroom visits to empty your bladder! Instead, look to healthier methods of relaxation, like meditation or a warm bath.
2. Stick to a regular bedtime
Routine is key for a good night’s sleep, so do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. It might sound boring, but your body clock will respond to the consistency and you’ll soon be on your way to sleeping like a babe.
3. Ditch the caffeine
Found in coffee, some teas, cola and chocolate, caffeine’s a stimulant that many of us rely on for an energy boost. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, it inhibits the brain chemicals that promote sleep, with its effects typically lasting from three to seven hours*. So, if you’re consistently struggling to fall asleep, it might be time to cut out that late afternoon cup of joe.
4. Try an acupressure mat
Designed to relieve stress and muscular tension while boosting circulation, an acupressure mat gives you a relaxing pre-bed massage from the comfort of your home. The first step of our unique Neptune Sleep System, the Neptune Bed has over 6000 massage points that apply steady acupressure to the neck, shoulders and back—alleviating tension and pain, releasing endorphins and rebalancing the entire body. Using for 20-30 minutes before bed promotes a deeper, more restful sleep.
5. Have a pre-bed snack
In welcome news for after-dinner grazers, a pre-bed snack is on the menu for a good night’s sleep. Not any old snack will do, though—make sure yours contains tryptophan. This essential amino acid helps the body to produce sleep-regulating hormone melatonin and is found in foods including dairy products, poultry, nuts, seeds and bananas. So, try sipping a warm glass of milk and munching a handful of almonds an hour before bedtime for maximum soporific effect.
6. Use a weighted blanket
If you suffer from anxiety or sleeplessness, a weighted blanket is one of the best investments you can make for your wellbeing. Designed to be approximately 10% of your body weight, The Neptune Blanket applies even pressure to the body—like a warm hug—promoting ‘happiness’ chemicals and sensory calmness for a sound night’s sleep.
7. Put down your devices!
If you want to sleep well, make your bedroom a sanctuary. This means checking your unfinished work at the door, and keeping it a strictly device-free zone. With studies showing that exposure to blue light from your phones, tablets and laptops suppresses melatonin and makes falling asleep more difficult, it’s best to switch off all electronics at least an hour before bed. And keep them out of the bedroom altogether.
*Sleep Health Foundation