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How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Lifestyle & Fitness • 08 May 2017
Giving your body a good seven - nine hours of sleep a night is essential to your well-being. The more sleep your body gets, the more time it has to restore and rejuvenate your cells and muscles, repair any damaged tissue, and to synthesise your hormones.

Not getting enough sleep can leave us unable to concentrate at work as it’s during our sleep that our brains solidify and consolidate all the memories and information we took in that day. Put simply, sleep makes us look better, perform better and think better.

If you cannot sleep, take these steps to ensure a good night’s sleep:

Exercise at the right time

Early morning and afternoon is the best time to exercise as it speeds up your metabolism, elevates your body temperature and stimulates hormones such as cortisol - all wonderful things for your body… but not when you’re getting ready for bed. Try not to exercise three hours before going to bed.

Eat and Drink the right things

Caffeine and alcohol are big sleep-thieves. Caffeine can prevent sleep even ten hours after consumption, and while alcohol may make you sleepy and fall asleep easily, it often disturbs the body’s natural rhythms and can leave you awake and wide eyed in the wee hours of the morning. Rather stick to rooibos tea or cocoa in the evening. Big meals just before bed can also be detrimental to your sleep, so make sure to eat smaller portions at night and try to avoid eating or drinking anything for about two hours before bed. Frequent bathroom visits at night can disturb sleep too!

Lights

During the day, try to get as much natural sunlight as possible as it prevents the stimulation of melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy. Less melatonin means you’re awake and productive during the work and more likely to be tired when you go to bed. Ensure that you let as much natural light as possible into your home and working environment.

At night, try stay away from bright screens such as TV or smart phones - especially in the hour or two leading up to bedtime. Put your phone on charge (and on silent) away from your bedside table and take a long bath or shower before bed. Make sure your room is dark once you’ve turned off the lights and if you need to get up in the night, avoid turning on any bright overhead lights.

Relaxation Rituals

Rituals such as a long bath, journaling, listening to soft music, meditating, reading and praying before bed can help you relax and sleep better. Taking stock of the day and reassessing your goals for the next is a great way to start your session with Mr Sandman.

Fall asleep quicker with these 7 sleep hacks:

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