Notes from Yawn | A guide to better sleep
1. Wear the right fabric
When heading to bed we want to be cool enough to drop off, but not too cold that we’re uncomfortable.
Lightweight, loose fabrics like our cotton satin collection are your best options for sleepwear. Cotton in particular is a natural, soft fibre, making it light and breathable to allow circulation to your skin. Durable and easy to wash, it’s a great choice for those who don’t want a hefty dry-cleaning bill. *
2. Set up the right environment
To get a good night’s sleep, your bedroom needs to be both welcoming and restful.
Keep your room completely dark and avoid having any LED displays or television screens. The artificial light suppresses the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps you to sleep by regulating the body’s circadian rhythm and your room shouldn’t be treated as an extension to your study.
Smells can also affect your mood to help you become more relaxed and calm. Pop a Yawn Lavender Bag under your pillow, as the herb is a fantastic natural way to calm anxiety and relieve stress as it decreases your heart rate and blood pressure through biochemical reactions. *
3. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual
By introducing a relaxing activity routine before bed, such as meditation or reading a good book, this will help you to separate your sleep time from your day-to-day life and avoid too much excitement or thoughts of stress and anxiety from creeping up.
It’s important to distract yourself and leave any worries outside of the bedroom so that you’re fully relaxed and can concentrate on just one thing – sleep.
4. Check your diet
In order to promote good sleep, there are three substances you need to be aware of which your diet can have a great affect on - tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin. *
Found in protein foods such as steak, chicken, peanuts and milk, tryptophan is a rare amino acid that converts into serotonin when it reaches the brain. Serotonin helps to decrease levels of depression and anxiety, but it is also what turns into melatonin at night, the previously mentioned hormone that helps induce sleep.
To optimise your tryptophan levels, medical advice suggests always combining protein food with low glycaemic index carbohydrate foods such as beans, lentils, fruit and milk. So as you’re preparing dinner before bed, try to avoid potatoes, white bread and stimulants such as cigarettes and caffeine.
Despite the argument that working out close to bedtime can disturb sleep, the body-heating effects of exercise do improve your sleeping pattern. Though it’s not recommended to over-do it, the post-exercise drop in temperature will help to induce better sleep.
Remember however, consistency is key. If you do find working out before bed isn’t for you and you’d prefer an early rise, ultimately it’s best to fit your workout routine to your schedule to avoid excuses. The more you exercise, the better you’re likely to feel, reducing insomnia, anxiety and depressive symptoms.
6. Keep your feet warm
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, warming your feet up can speed up your trip to the clouds.
Putting a hot water bottle at the end of your bed is not just any old-wives tale. Heating cold feet causes vasodilation (dilation of your blood vessels) telling the brain it’s bedtime and shortening the amount of time it take you to fall asleep.
No hot water bottle? Try our Cosy Sleep Socks, which are ideal for wearing around the house too.
We hope these tips help you to achieve many restful nights ahead and if you have any you’d like to share yourself, tweet us @yawnlondon #YawnSleepTips or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good night x