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20 TIPS

For Ultimate

Rest & Relaxation

If  you are struggling to get enough rest and relaxation.  And you are starting to feel frustrated at waking in the night. And in the morning you feel groggy and exhausted.

Number 1 You are not alone 39% of UK adults sleep less than the recommended number of hours (reference 01).

Number 2 I want to show you all the best tips to help you wake up feeling well rested, clear headed and focused by getting the best rest and relaxation.

Lets explore the tools to give you the ultimate rest and relaxation.

Getting the the right amount of rest and relaxation is what we all need.  The sleep foundation says between the ages of 24-64 we we should be getting 7-9hours sleep (reference 02).  When we have a great night sleep we awake feeling alert, focused and energised.  We also benefit from our memories transferring from short term to long term while we sleep (reference 03) as well our toxins naturally being cleaned away (reference 04).  Sleep helps our genes behave in a supportive way to eliminate the unhealthy cells.  Sleep is an incredible tool to support our health and wellness and it costs us absolutely nothing.

Today  we are going to be looking at 20 tips to help and support your rest and relaxation.  When trying new habits please be patient to see the results, we are each different and some may see immediate result and with others may take a little longer.  You may wish to simply try a few tips and add more in time – so do what works best for you.

#1 ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential Oils are a natural gem for providing calming and relaxing support.  Sometimes even if we have these wonderful tools we do not make the most out of them.  By ensuring your essential oils are where you will use them you won't miss the opportunity to enjoy their wonderful benefits.  Do not wait to when your in bed to remember you forgot to bring your serenity upstairs or place your essential oil rollerball blend next to your bed.  Have it all ready earlier in the day to make it easier for the evening time.

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Place your supportive Oils where where you USE them.

In our house we have one diffuser upstairs and downstairs with the supportive oils next to them ready for use.  The most popular ones that we choose for relaxation are Serenity restful blend, lavender and cedarwood.  Our youngest sometimes needs a little extra help and we are happiest when he sleeps through.  We have the roller blend named “Hibernation Blend” on his bedroom shelf which we roll along his back and on the soles of his feet to help his rest and relaxation.  Our daughter likes to be independent  and reaches for the children's roller calmer.  Hubby gets congested in the night so he always has a breathe stick next to his side of the bed.  The beautiful blend used in this product is Air and this provides him with the feelings of clear airways.  Which also helps me get a good sleep too.  For myself along side diffusing I find Serenity soft gels very supportive if I need extra support to relax.  On days when I have a lot going on and feel I need to calm my active mind.  Therefore I reach for my Vetiver which is incredible to help ground and relax –  with natural sedative properties.

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#2 LESS STRESS

Reduce your stress, strains and worries.

Stress has its place it helps us power through to complete a deadline but we cannot be in a state of stress too often as it puts a strain on our body.  By doing what we can to lower of stresses, strains and worries we allow our immune functions to work at their best for us.  One study indicated that sleep quality and duration decrease on Sunday evening before work on Monday and this was attributed to stress (reference 19.)

There are many ways to support reducing our stress levels just a few ways to help reduce our stress include exercise, taking a break and meditating.  Perhaps on a Sunday afternoon is a perfect time to focus on lowering our stress.

 

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#3 SELFCARE

Support your own health and wellness.

The World Health Organization defines self-care as:

“the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider” (reference 05)

Selfcare is basically being proactive in your own health and wellbeing.

Self care covers a wide variety:

Physical Care – This could be being proactive with our physical wellness for example seeing a doctor when we need to.

Spiritual care - One example is to meditate.

Emotional Care – Perhaps talking to a friend and put the world to rights.

Mental Care – Engaging and stimulate your mind with something intellectual a class a hobby.

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#4 HEALTHY DIET

Eat a balanced diet and make good choices where you can.

One study revealed diet had a profound effect on the quality of sleep and waking up in the night. The participants sleep was worse when their food choices in the day included less fibre, more sugar and more saturated fats (reference 6).

appetizer, summer, organic

#5 EXERCISE

The NHS recommends that we take part in 150mins of exercise per week which works out just over 20min per day (reference 7).

So why exercise?

Just one good reason is that research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

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NHS recommends 20min exercise each day.

Exercise comes in many shapes and forms from high energy cardio to gentle Tai chi and yoga.  There is a type of exercise to suit most of us and the simplest of all is walking.  For our high  energy activities earlier in the day is most suited and gentler exercise such as yoga perfect as part of relaxation prior to bed.

#6 LESS BOOZE

It takes approximately 1-2 hours to metabolise alcohol which is why it's beneficial to reduce alcohol intake, especially 1-2hr before sleep.  This is a tricky idea to put into action though as many of us enjoy unwinding after a day at work with a drink or two.  Having alcohol on an evening does make it easier to fall sleep however research does show that the quality of your sleep suffers (reference 8).  Sadly without the quality deep sleep the wellness benefits are severely reduced.

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1-2hrs to metabolise each unit.

#7 RELAX

Just in the same way as an athlete gears up for a race by warming their muscles, by stretching and getting themselves ready to run – for sleep preparation helps,  albeit as a wind down. Doing this 1-2hrs before bed is helpful. Here are a few ideas taking a relaxing bath and be sure to add Epsom salt for the wonderful magnesium  and be sure to mix in your favourite calming and grounding essential oil or how about cosying up with a book by your favour author.

blur, book, bokeh

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#8 STIMULANTS

Reduce caffeine intake (coffee, tea and energy drinks).   So here is one that I have personally found a challenge as I used to easily drink 6 mugs of coffee in a day.  Reducing caffeine intake such as coffee, tea and energy drinks helps our rest and relaxation.

When I researched caffeine it was eye opening it has a 5-6 hr half life (reference 9).  Take a look at the table and if you drink a coffee at 2pm can still be effecting you at 10pm/12midnight.  Later into the afternoon and just look at the time it takes to wear off a tea at 5pm will be effecting us till 1pm/3pm.   Even more alarming is that research shows that caffeine can still effect us 48hours later.

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Caffeine has a 5/6hr half life.

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An afternoon drink alternative to coffee and tea could be a herbal tea, I find Chamomile tea for me is a great swap and calming alternative. Find out what works for you it might be a cup a cacao or simply a decaf.

#9 LOW LIGHTING

By keep the light level low in evening you are support your circadian rhythm.  Your circadian rhythm is your bodies sleep wake cycle that occurs daily (reference 10).  Before artificial lighting was invented we would wake and sleep by the sun and this triggers the complimentary hormones within our body.  Using bright lighting in our home in the evening disrupts our bodies natural process.  With this in mind it is more supportive to use lights with dimmer switches and lamps in the evening.

room, armchair, lamp

Low light levels in evening support our circadian rhythm.

#10 POWER NAP

An afternoon nap or a power nap can be a great way to help our energy level and refresh and reset the burdens of the day. However it is important that it does not disrupt our main sleep.  Its recommended by the sleep foundation to limit nap time to 20min and to take your nap early to mid afternoon (Reference 11).

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Limit nap time to 20min.

#11 BE TECH SMART

On an evening we often catch up on tasks we didn’t complete in the day from sending an email to order that gifts and we often use tech to complete these tasks.  It is popular to watch a film on a evening or even the next 1, 2 possibly 3 episodes of that great new series on netflicks your friend just told you about.  This is a common picture however its not supportive to your rest and relaxation.

We briefly spoke about our circadian rhythm in relation to artificial light but it is also important in relation to tech too.  Your mobile, TV and tablet all emit blue wave light just as the sun does in the mornings (reference 4). This is fine for the daytime as this helps us feel alert and focused but the problem is later in the day when naturally our melatonin levels should rise.  However the blue light disrupts this process.  There are a few things you can do to help from turning tech off or by checking for blue screen settings on your devices.

matrix, numbers, cryptocoin

Your mobile, TV and tablet all emit blue wave light just as the sun does in the mornings.

#12 TIME

You have probably heard the phrase “we are creatures of habit”  Going to bed and waking at a similar time as often as possible is the ideal (reference 4). By doing this it helps our rest and relaxation be at its best.  Studies show that our body responses positively to consistency.  Aiming to fall asleep between 9pm and midnight is more beneficial due to achieving the balance of different types of sleep that we need.  Dr Matt Walker we need both REM and non REM to get the health benefits of sleep and to feel at our best rather than groggy and sluggish.

the eleventh hour, time to rethink, disaster

Falling asleep between 9pm and midnight is more beneficial.

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#13 ROOM PURPOSE

Associations are important when it comes to sleep consider your favourite place for coffee? And your mind recalls that place. You also create associations with sleep too.  What if you also worked where you sleep, now with home working with lockdown this is common at the moment.  So you bedroom now has the association with your work, focus, stress perhaps and a hive of activity  as well as the actual original purpose of your bedroom for sleep and sex.  The associations ideally need to be clear so if you work in another area,  Keep your bedroom just for sleep and sex.  Your body and mind should recognize your bedroom as a place of rest and intimacy, says Dr. Michael T. Murray (reference 12).

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Limit your bedroom to sleep and sex.

#14 BEDTIME SNACK

Food is a heavily debated topic for the few hours before bed, some say no food before bed other say we can’t go to bed hungry, but what can be agreed is healthy food is best.  If we eat indigestion inducing foods prior to sleep it is not supportive.  So what food should you eat before bed?  Fruit made a big difference in one study where eating kiwi fruit before bed the participants fell asleep faster, slept longer and enjoyed a better quality of sleep – one great reason to try a kiwi (reference 13).  Nuts are another great option due to their high level of Melatonin especially with almond and walnut (reference 14).

kiwi, fruit, healthy

Foods supportive to sleep are Almonds, Walnuts and Kiwi fruit.

#15 BE COMFORTABLE

Our bedroom is a space for supporting a restful night sleep and should be a haven for a restful night’s sleep.

Consider your own bedroom.  Do you have sumptuous pillows, is the mattress supportive yet comfortable is a clutter free space.  Or does the light spill unwelcomely through the thin curtains or does the bed spring poke you in the back. What would improve your comfort ? changes could be as simple as moving a few items or as big as a new mattress or moving your desk to another area of your home. Many studies show improved sleep as well as other health benefits (reference 15).

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Make your bedroom a haven for sleep comfort.

#16 KEEP IT QUIET

Keep the noise levels low to support your sleep.  Don’t you just hate it when noise wakes you from sleep? It can be a car beeping, police helicopter, a dog barking or possibly even a wood pigeon.   Keeping the noise level in our bedroom low is perfect to support our sleep and studies do back this up.  In a 2016 study the group in noise isolation had a big increase in their amount of deep sleep (reference 16).

Our environment determines the acoustics a lot so if you need extra help with the noise level you could consider ear plugs to help reduce it or a white noise machine.

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Keep the noise level low for a better rest.

#17 COOL DOWN

Keep the temperature of your bedroom cool.

The best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This may vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep (reference 17).

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You sleep better in a cool room.

#18 NATURAL SLEEP REMEDIES

Keep it natural.

We see a lot of options for sleep remedies and many people try these but by choosing more natural options we are choosing an option that works in harmony with our body.  The neuroscientist and best selling Matthew Walker recommends not using artificial sleep remedies as they reduce the quality of your sleep (reference 3).

But remember that if you are  taking a sleep prescription do not make changes without consulting your doctor. 

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Natural if you can.

#19 LIGHTS OFF

Keeping lights off for sleep is ideal.  If you do wake in the night and need the toilet studies have shown if you turn the lights on you could delay sleep by 30minutes.  What is recommended is to use a torch instead to limit the disruption (reference 18).

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#20 KIDS & PETS

Encourage kids and pets to sleep in their own beds wherever possible.  This one goes without saying as lovely as it maybe.  Where possible help your child or pet settle in there own room.

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Its great to connect and I would like to know if you got some new ideas and how you are going to use these tips to supporting your rest and relaxation.

Get your copy of our FREE Checklist  THE ULTIMATE REST AND RELAXATION CHECKLIST

Why not tick off all the ones you already do and revisit in a week or 2 after trying out a few new sleep tips and see what your new score is.

Love

 

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