No doubt there’s a lot on your mind right now. Whether you’re experiencing stress and worry or simply have a lot on your plate, this could affect how well you sleep at night. It’s a vicious cycle, too: The more stressed you are, the less peaceful your sleep will be; the less peaceful your sleep is, the more overwhelmed you’ll feel by daily stresses.
So what does it mean to get genuinely restorative sleep? And how can you achieve it? Read on to unlock your best night’s sleep yet.
When Is Sleep Truly Restorative?
There are five stages of sleep, culminating in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which you’ve probably heard about. For sleep to truly do the work of healing your brain and body throughout the night, you need to move through all five stages in succession.
Restorative sleep happens within a natural, healthy sleep-wake cycle, AKA circadian rhythm — which means that what happens within your day is just as important as what happens at night for you to achieve truly restorative sleep. This, in turn, will allow your mind and body to stay at their healthiest.
How to Get the Restorative Sleep You Need
Peaceful sleep is crucial for your overall well-being, but unfortunately, it can prove elusive. Here are some ways to sleep better and feel well-rested when you wake up.
Stick to a Routine
In the same way your body knows to get hungry around lunchtime, you will learn to feel sleepy around bedtime when you are in balance. That’s because our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by our “body clock,” i.e., the 24-hour circadian rhythm. If you don’t stick to a routine , your body clock will fall out of whack and the quality of your sleep will suffer. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day (7 to 8 hours of sleep is optimal for the average adult), and eat your meals at roughly the exact times as well.
See the Light
To help keep your body clock in tip-top, make sure you get enough daylight exposure throughout the day. Get outside if you can or invest in an artificial bright light to use during the day. Come evening, turn off the bright lights and limit your exposure to blue light, especially the kind from screens. If you must use your phone, computer or tablet close to bedtime, try using blue-light-blocking glasses, or download an app that switches your display to orange light. Otherwise, step away from the screens at least two hours before bedtime.
Get your Body Moving
Daily exercise helps boost the natural sleep hormone melatonin. It has been found to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and the time spent awake throughout the night and increase the length of sleep. Walking outside in the morning is a great way to get your exercise in while exposing yourself to that much-needed daylight — two birds with one stone! Whatever your workout of choice, don’t do it too close to bed as this can disrupt your sleep.
Leave your Worries Behind
If your mind is churning, reminding you that you forgot to buy milk and stressing you out about that big presentation you’ve got coming up, it’s likely you won’t be able to sleep peacefully. It’s important to wind down and destress throughout your day, but especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. If you’re worried about specific action items, write them down and set a time to deal with them in the morning.
If you’re just feeling generally wound up or anxious, try a few destressing techniques and observe what works for you. You could journal your thoughts to get them out of your system, try meditation, gentle yoga or any mindful activity that floats your boat. You may also find that taking CBD oil around an hour before bed helps you relax so you can sleep better.
Make Yourself Comfortable
So you’ve done all of the above, but your sleep still doesn’t feel as restorative as it should. The problem could simply be that your sleeping conditions aren’t conducive to peaceful slumber:
- Ensure that it’s not too hot or too cold in your bedroom.
- If there’s light peeking through the window, invest in darker blinds or wear a sleep mask.
- If there’s a loud road or other activity outside, try wearing earplugs.
- Check in with your body: Is your pillow comfortable? And your mattress? Comfort is non-negotiable for a good night’s sleep, so make it a priority.
There are many reasons why you may not be getting the restorative sleep you need, but thankfully there are several solutions. With just a few simple and nurturing lifestyle changes, you’ll unlock your best night’s sleep in no time.
Check out our CBD products to support your efforts towards more restorative sleep.
Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based writer and editor with six years of experience creating content for various outlets. Her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Stylist and Cosmopolitan, and she won first place in Writing Magazine’s Grand Prize for a short story in 2020.