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Your body needs sleep. It has an internal clock that moves you from sleep through to wakefulness, and your sleep routine relies on this clock to keep you on track. Unfortunately, we have a lot of bad habits that compromise this. It could be that you travel across time zones a lot, maybe you're a shift worker, or you might have a sleep issue, such as insomnia or apnea.
When your body clock is out of whack, you can correct the course by changing your bedtime routine. The following are nine suggestions for doing this.
Exercise is going to be your best friend when it comes to improving your bedtime routine. There are a few things you can focus on here, from stretches before bed to selecting the right postures for yoga for sleep. So, stretches before bed. Neck stretches are an excellent place to start and luckily, Harvard Medical School has a handy guide to walk you through some of the most effective yoga for sleep postures. Exercise to sleep better!
One of the biggest reasons people struggle with sleep is stress. It can improve your quality of sleep, and relieve pain, anxiety, depression, and reduce your blood pressure, too. It's easy and it's free, so anyone can try. To get started, find a quiet spot to lie or sit down. Close your eyes, take some deep, slow breaths and pay attention as you inhale and exhale. If your mind wanders, simply bring it back to focus on your breath. It's as simple as that, get started with a 5-minute session.
You don't want to go to bed hungry, but you also don't want to eat a snack that is going to sit heavily in your stomach or cause indigestion. If you're prone to late-night snacks, it's time to introduce a new evening option. Oatmeal, nuts, cherries, bananas, and even a small piece of dark chocolate are great choices to curb your hunger but keep your sleep on track.
Do you have a television in the bedroom? Do you fall asleep reading a book on your tablet? Do you watch your phone right up until the very second your eyes start to drop? We all spend too much time on our gadgets, but if you struggle to sleep, your problem might be bigger than you think. You should avoid all screens for at least one hour before bed, and two hours in an ideal world! Make your last hour before sleep your time to read, indulge in a hot, bubble bath, or practise yoga!
There are plenty of apps that revolve around sleep, simply type it into the search bar of your app store. Headspace and other related apps (like Calm) offer guided meditations and relaxation techniques to help you improve your sleep routine. Just remember to keep your phone or tablet away from you, and listen – don’t watch. The blue light on technology has actually been found to suppress the hormone responsible for sleep, melatonin.
Your body temperature starts to drop as you prepare for sleep so you must maintain a comfortable temperature in your room. According to a sleep study from Tohoku Fukushi University between 15.5 and 19 degrees (C). If the temperature is soaring above 24 or drops below -11, then you are likely to experience disrupted sleep.
If you want a good night's sleep, then you need a quiet environment. Once you nod off, your brain continues to process the sounds of your environment, which is why a protracted noise can make it difficult for you to fall or stay asleep. If there's external noise that disrupts you, try a white noise machine or sleep app to create soothing, steady sounds that block everything else out.
The best way to get a good night's sleep is in a comfortable bed. An old mattress or the wrong pillows can leave you with serious aches and pains. It can be difficult to get to sleep. Ideally, you should get a new mattress every decade. However, it helps if you invest in a good mattress to begin with. You should replace your pillows every two years as well, but again, it pays to invest well. Are you a black sleeper, side sleeper, front sleeper or a mixture of two or more? There are pillows designed for your sleep habits that will improve your sleep routine.
The best way to overcome sleep problems is by setting a routine. Go to bed at the same time each night, wake and rise at the same time each morning. It doesn't matter whether it's your first day off in 17 days, maintain your routine. When you do, your internal clock will create the new routine, and you'll find it easier to get to sleep.
Getting to sleep is easy with Yoga Doll. Just slip on a pair of our leggings and you’ll find exercising to improve sleep a breeze. Our leggings are made to move with you, without restriction. Just 15 mins exercise a day is enough to help send you off to the land of nod in no time.