Reading Time: 4 minutesMost of you know that sleep plays an important role in many facets of our lives, from external success like physical fitness to internal functioning like brain efficiency. When it comes to sleep, both quality and quantity are needed. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough of it. We’ve sat together with the sleep consultants of one of Hong Kong’s favourite bedding stores Okooko to find out how to reap the full benefits of a good night’s sleep and what to avoid!
1. Unconducive sleep environment
Both noise and light can seriously get in the way of a good night’s sleep! In general, falling asleep in a quiet and dark place is easier. Our hearing is the last and the first to be alerted when you’re sleeping, so try to keep your bedroom noise free or turn on a white-noise machine to mask off unexpected sounds.
As for light, our body produces a hormone called melatonin in response to darkness and it signals your brain that it’s time to unwind and rest. Therefore, it’s important to turn off all bright lights in the bedroom and shut the curtains to block outdoor lights. You can also wear an eye mask if necessary.
2. Too much screen time
Any screen, from your phone to your television, emits blue light. They can also be emitted by fluorescent or LED lighting. When we are exposed for long periods of time, blue light boosts alertness and blocks the production of melatonin which is why it’s bad for your sleep. Avoid overexposure to blue lights by using filters or restricting screen time before going to bed.
3. Uncomfortable mattress
It should come as no surprise that the quality of your sleep is influenced by your bed. A mattress that is too hard or too soft will leave you waking up aching. Finding a bed that provides optimum support and comfort is important. However, this is especially difficult to achieve when you’re sleeping with a partner as each person has their own preference. Opt for a mattress that allows dual firmness in one King-size bed like Okooko’s organic latex mattress and you don’t have to compromise on your sleep comfort anymore!
Need help choosing the perfect mattress? Thijs Veyfeyken, general manager of Okooko by European Bedding, answers some questions on what aspects can help you sleep better.
4. Warm nights
While no single ideal temperature exists, for a good night’s sleep it is recommended that you sleep in a cooler environment, simply because heat induces agitation and discomfort. Aside from bedroom temperature, your mattress and bed sheets materials influence your sleeping temperature too. Typically natural materials are more breathable compared to synthetic ones. If you’re a hot sleeper, try changing your bed linen to bamboo lyocell sheets as they are very soft and cooling to the touch.
5. Unhealthy eating habits
Caffeine-containing foods and beverages do keep you awake at night. Other foods to avoid before heading to bed also include spicy, sweet, salty, alcoholic foods and drinks. Eating too much of any food can also cause bloatedness. These factors will cause your body to be uncomfortable when you sleep, so it’s best to avoid them.
6. Exercising too close to bedtime
We understand that you’re sick of hearing that exercise is good for you, but it’s true! This is particularly right when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Endorphins, which serve as a sedative, are released during exercise, making you feel more comfortable and mellow. However, exercising too close to bedtime, will cause you to toss and turn due to an increase in adrenaline. It is best to avoid vigorous activity for at least one hour before bedtime.
7. No fixed sleep schedule
By creating a sleep routine, you will be able to sleep faster and wake up easier. Choose a bedtime and wake-up time. Stick to these times every day, even on weekends or days off. Try to avoid staying up or sleeping in for more than one to two hours. Over time, you’ll be able to fall asleep and wake up with ease.
8. Bedroom as a multipurpose room
Ensure your bedroom is reserved for relaxation and not a source of stress or stimulation. You should not use your bedroom as a study or office. Various electronics and gadgets should be removed from your sleeping environment as they may become disruptive.
Be mindful of what variables affect your sleep and you can get better quality sleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed for an extended period of time, get out of bed! Find ways to relax and calm down such as breathing exercises and stretching before attempting to go back to sleep. We wish you a better night’s sleep!
This article is written in collaboration with Okooko.
Okooko by European Bedding is a one-stop bedding store that carries organic latex mattresses, adjustable bed bases and bedding accessories, all made of natural and sustainable materials. The brand provides a customisable sleeping system whereby bed base, mattress and pillow work together to provide excellent back support for individual needs – for example, a king-size mattress with one firmer and one softer side based on each partner’s preference. They are so certain of their proposition that their mattresses come with a 100-night trial!
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