Here’s our nine tips and bedtime rituals to help you get longer and better quality sleep this January!
January has been tough. With short days, freezing temperatures and lockdown restrictions, getting through the past few weeks has felt like an uphill battle for many of us. While we have love, hope and home comforts to push us through the next couple months - our inner strength has been greatly tested.
It’s therefore more essential than ever we get our precious eight hours of sleep. Getting a good night’s kip isn’t just about smoothing out those eye bags - scientists argue sleep is just as important to our health as eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated. Sleep allows our bodies to repair cells, restore energy, and release essential molecules like hormones and proteins to keep our organs and immune systems healthy.
It’s critical to our mental health too. Restful sleep makes us feel more focussed, positive and calm - things we could all do with a little more of right now! As bestselling author Matthew Walker beautifully articulated: “The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”
So how can we improve the quality and quantity of our sleep? It's pretty simple. Here’s nine tips and bedtime rituals to help you get longer and better quality sleep this January!
1. Choose Your Bed Wisely
Just like a good pair of trainers can help you run faster and prevent injury, a supportive bed and mattress can help deliver better, healthier sleep.
The Molly is a great choice for anyone looking for a comfier night’s sleep. Made from solid beech, the frame is ultra supportive and its slats are sprung.
A smoother, more supportive surface to lie on may be all you need to improve the quality of your sleep!
The Molly Bed in bespoke fabric
2. Avoid Caffeine
Not only does caffeine make it more difficult for us to drift off, it can reduce the amount of deep sleep we enjoy too. So, ditch black teas and coffee towards the end of the day. Instead, try a chamomile tea like Neal’s Yard Quiet Time Tea. Formulated by herbal experts, this is the perfect supplement to a moment of mindfulness before bed.
The Isabella bed in House Grey. From @mhliving_
3. Run a bath
Before we drift off, our heart rate and breathing must slow, our muscles must relax and our core body temperature must drop.
Taking a warm bath or shower warms up our skin. This causes our blood vessels to dilate and more heat escapes through their walls. So, when we go to bed, we’re already in the process of cooling down. Moreover, bathing relaxes our muscles and slows and regulates our breathing.
So, enjoying a warm bath shortly before you sleep is a simple and effective way to speed up your body’s physiological preparations and help you get to sleep much faster!
The Elsa Armchair in Artisan Weave 'Sourdough'
4. Practice Yoga
Even if you sit at a desk for most of the day, you can carry a lot of tension in your body. Practising yoga stretches before bed will relax your muscles and ease any aches, helping you melt into soundless sleep faster.
Decluttering your bedroom will eliminate unnecessary distractions and help you cultivate a calmer mind in preparation to sleep.
The Alice Bed in 'Garden Green' velvet. From @@katelovejoyinteriors
Winding down and relaxing your mind is crucial for stimulating deep and restful slumber. Practiced for thousands of years, meditation is the best way to slow down, destress and centre your thoughts. Apps such as Calm and Headspace offer hundreds of guided meditation programmes and sleep stories to get you started. Alternatively, try playing some gentle music or birdsong. Lighting candles can help produce a peaceful atmosphere too. Our personal favourite is the Kukui Oil candle, by Connock London. This sweet, evocative aroma will be sure to soothe your soul with thoughts of happiness and romance.
The Virginia Armchair in Vintage Linen 'Spearmint'
7. Read More, Scroll Less
The blue light emitted from screen can suppress our bodies secretion of melatonin - a vital hormone for restful sleep.
So instead of watching Netflix or scrolling through your phone before bed, try reading. Not only will this make you wiser, it might just help you feel more refreshed in the morning too!
With a deeply padded bed like the Hepworth, your spine will be fully supported as you snuggle up with a novel and prepare your mind to drift off.
Hepworth Bed in Studio Stain Resistant Velvet 'Toffee'
Take time to reflect on the day behind you and consider the day ahead. Write down your goals, anxieties and affirmations. This will help you organise your thoughts and feel more at peace with yourself.
9. Light it Right
Investing in good bedroom lighting could help you regulate your circadian rhythm. Gentle, dim lighting will signal to your body that it’s time to sleep - helping you feel more tired.
In these trying times, taking care of our mental and physical health is vital. We hope these 9 tips help you nurture more blissful sleep this winter!
For more great advice visit Sleep Station, or if you’re suffering serious insomnia don’t hesitate to reach out to your GP.