Sleep Health

Sleep well every week using these unusual but proven bedtime tips

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So how did you sleep this week? And how did you feel each morning? Do you think you can clock some better shut-eye once and for all? 

 

Our hope for Sleep Awareness Week 2020 was to break bad habits that all of us have and replace them with better ones. Now that we're at the end of the week, do you think you can retain them and not fall prey to old habits?

 

We also hope that Sleep Awareness Week has changed attitudes. For example, we've all heard the person who proudly says, "I'll sleep when I'm dead" or "I only need 4 hours sleep to survive". They forget that sleeping better is about living better. It's not about surviving. That's not much of an aspirational goal, is it?

 

So, do you think you've learnt enough from us this past week to put all of it into practice beyond tomorrow? To help you sleep your way to a better life, we want to give you a new sleep tip for each day of next week.

 

Before you yawn or pass out from boredom, we're not going to repeat the same tips that you've heard a million times, such as counting sheep, avoiding caffeine or exercising more.

 

Those tips can work, but we don't want to repeat it and run the risk of sounding like every other sleep blogger out there. To keep it interesting for us – we mean you – we've come up with a list of weird, wonderful and proven sleep tips you may not have read before.

 

Monday – Weighted blankets

 

Weighted blankets are heavy blankets designed and shown to have a calming effect on users who struggle with sleep.1 It's almost like having someone gently cuddle you all night long.

 

Tuesday – Have plants in your bedroom

 

Try having scented plants like jasmine or lavender for your bedroom this Tuesday. Their fragrances are shown to calm you and help you sleep.2 Your bedroom will feel more natural to sleep in too.

 

Wednesday – Hypnotise yourself

 

"Your eyes are getting heavy. Very heavy and tired. You are getting very sleepy. Soon you will be sound asleep. You are now asleep." 

 

Did that work? We know hypnotherapy has its doubters, but studies have shown it can be useful in the management of sleep disorders.3

 

Thursday – Place a pillow between your legs

 

This is a sleep tip all pregnant women may have heard before, but it can work for anyone. A pillow between your knees has been shown to keep your spine more naturally aligned as well as reduce stress on other parts of your body.

 

Friday – Eat cheese

 

Yes, some people believe cheese will lead you straight into a Freddy Krueger nightmare, but the only proven point we know is that cheese is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep.5

 

Saturday – Drink valerian tea

 

Valerian tea, made from the root of a flowering herb, has been regularly shown to induce sleep and improve sleep quality.6 The catch is that it's rumoured to smell like dirty socks.

 

Sunday – Listen to sleep songs

 

It'll be no surprise for most people to learn that certain types of music can help you relax and sleep.7 If you're not sure what to listen to, find us on Facebook or Spotify, where we'll be suggesting songs you can fall asleep to every Sunday night.

 

So, there you have it – a unique sleep tip for every day next week to help you push on from your efforts this week. Remember, even though Sleep Awareness Week ends, the healthy habits you follow will reward you for a lifetime.

ResMed

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Citations

1
Ackerley R., Badre G., Olausson H. "Positive Effects of a Weighted Blanket on Insomnia." Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, vol. 2, no. 3, 2015, p. 1022.
2

Fismer K., Pilkington K., "Lavender and sleep: A systematic review of the evidence". Eur J Integr Med, vol. 4, 2012, p. 436–447

3

Hartman, David. "Evidence-Based Hypnotherapy for the Management of Sleep Disorders." Journal of Heart Centered Therapies, vol. 13, no. 1, 2010, p. 137. 

4

Tauchi R., Imagama S., Muramoto A., Tsuboi M., Ishiguro N., Hasegawa Y. "Influence of spinal imbalance on knee osteoarthritis in community-living elderly adults." Nagoya J Med Sci. vol. 7, no. 3, 2015, p. 329–337. 

5

Richard M., Dawes A., Mathias W., Acheson A., Hill-Kapturczak N., Dougherty M. "L-tryptophan: Basic metabolic functions, behavioral research and therapeutic indications." Int. J. Tryptophan Res., vol. 2, 2009, p. 45–60.

6

Bent S., Padula A., Moore D., Patterson M., Mehling W. "Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis." American Journal of Medicine., vol. 119, no. 12, 2006, p. 1005-1012

7

Trahan T., Durrant SJ., Müllensiefen D., Williamson VJ. "The music that helps people sleep and the reasons they believe it works: A mixed methods analysis of online survey reports." PLoS One., vol. 13, no. 11, 2018, e0206531.

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