Guarantee a restorative 8 hours with research-approved advice to rest easier. Lights out
Britain is suffering from an insomnia epidemic. As we strive to boss our working day and climb the corporate ladder, while trying to maintain some form of social life in the evening, there’s little time to power down and relax. And it’s taking a toll your health and fitness. According to one recent survey, the average Londoner sleeps one full hour less than the prescribed 7.7 hours for proper well-being. But there are solutions. Here we reveal the shut-eye science that can finally put your sleep trouble to bed.
See The Light
While you’re no doubt aware of the impact blue light from your phone can have on your circadian rhythm, natural light is, in fact, a positive force. Sunlight helps to keep your inner body clock on time. This improves daytime energy, but it also improves your body’s ability to switch off come night time, to improve both sleep quality and duration. For those suffering from insomnia, research states that daytime bright light exposure also reduced the time it took to fall asleep by 83%. Basically, by swapping the tube for two feet (or wheels) on your commute and catching some rays this summer you can catch Z’s come 10pm.
Soak It Up
It may sound decadent, but a pre-bed bath is one of the most relaxing ways to enhance your sleep. Studies have shown it can improve overall quality and help people fall asleep faster. In one research project scientist found that a hot bath 90 minutes before bed helped test subjects to enjoy greater amounts of deep, restorative sleep. That’s means swifter recovery and reduced DOMS. You’ll be in dream land.
Surprise, surprise, investing in your bedroom will pay dividend when it comes to lights out. If you’ve had the same mattress and duvet for decades, then you’re doing it all wrong. It’s time for an upgrade. One piece of health research looked at the benefits of a new mattress for 28 days. They found it reduced back pain by 57%, shoulder pain by 60%, back stiffness by 59% and improved sleep quality by 60%. There are no specific recommendations for which mattress is best, that much is subjective, but buying bedding that works for you will pay out immediate, restful rewards. Aim to promote your bedding at least every 5–8 years.
Re-Up Your Supps
The NHS now spends more than £50 million on sleeping pills. But by adding more than whey powder and creatine to your cabinet, you can bank on a more natural way to say goodnight. Firstly try 500 mg of Valerian root before bed. This root is backed by several studies that show it can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality. The amino acid, l-theanine can also improve relaxation and sleep. Take 100–200 mg before heading to bed. There are better ports of call for a cure to your sleep woes than the GPs office, basically.
Hard Work Nods Off
And last but by no means least, we have the gym. 150min of exercise – that’s just 30mins on the workout floor for every day of your workout week – improves sleep quality by 65%, according to researchers. But if you’re someone who struggles with sleep already, it may be worth re-jigging your schedule to make a morning WOD class. Workouts spike the hormone adrenaline, which can make it harder for you to nod off after an evening session. We’ll see you at 6am.