Top 5 Personal Favourite Sleep Tips
In honour of International Sleep Week coming up soon, I wanted to touch on a few tips and tricks that I've implemented in my daily routine that've helped with my sleep quality and quantity so much, and share these with you here today so that hopefully you'll also be able to up the ante on your snooze.
I started Nightire a few years ago because I was struggling with sleep. The hubs and I had moved from South Africa to London, I started a hectic new job and we were moving house too - and somehow this all amalgamated into a solid period of insomnia. I did loads of research into different tweaks that I could make on a day to day basis to help me sleep better at night and found one interesting tidbit that especially stuck with me - that body temperature regulation is super important for managing my sleep and wake cycles. And that's where my fascination with temperature regulation started (did you know, all Nightire PJs are made of 100% organic bamboo, which is great for exactly that)?!
I've spent so much time soaking up info on sleep that I actually went ahead and wrote a BOOK on the subject during lockdown last year, which is now available for download by any customer of Nightire. This is what I've found works for me:
1. Keep a routine. Your body loves knowing what to expect, what time it should be waking up and when to wind down. Stick to the same sleep and wake times as much as possible, even over weekends - because did you know that sleeping in over a weekend leads to something called 'social jetlag'? Pushing your sleep and wake times out by say an hour or two over weekends means, come Monday, your bod will be acting like it's just come home from a long trip abroad.
2. Mind the cuppa joe. Caffeine is a proper sleep inhibitor. Even for those of you who think it's easy to nod off after necking an espresso post-supper... you might fall asleep, but research shows the sleep will be light, fragmented, and not at all deep and restorative. Note that caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, and a quarter life of 10-12 hours, so even when the actual 'outwards' effects of energy wears off, it might still be buzzing in your system and keeping you up.
3. Have a good bedtime routine, again signalling to your body that it's time to wind down. I do no screens an hour before bed, leave my phone in another room to charge (it's a good ol' ancient alarm clock for me), take time with my skincare routine, read my book, and steer clear of physical exercise or eating a few hours before bed.
4. Also! I keep a journal / note pad next to my bed for jotting down the wild thoughts or to-do's that pop into my mind as I lie in bed waiting for sleep to set in. It's one of my most useful hacks, as my mind is my biggest sleep enemy. Off the brain and onto the page, as I always say.
5. Keeping cool is really a game-changer for sleep. Your body temperature drops when you're sleepy (or rather, to make you sleepy and induce melatonin, your body temps drop as night-time approach). To aid in this cooling down of the body, it's important to keep your room and bed as cool (yet comfy and cozy for sure) as possible. That's why a hot bath is ace for inducing sleep, as the rush of cold that you feel when you get OUT, will kick-start the sleepy hormones. The perfect room temperature is colder than you might think - about 18 / 18.5 degrees, and you're better off with slightly cooler, more breathable bedding and PJs (like Nightire's) so you don't end up a sweaty mess as your body temps increase throughout the course of the night.
Different strokes for different folks when it comes to what works for sleep, but these are my non-negotiables that have helped to solve my sleep problems.
Hope that helps! And you have sweet dreams tonight!
Written by Nina Clark, Nightyire founder