Sleep is something that can, unfortunately, evade all of us at some point in our lives.
When we’re overworked and stressed, quality sleep can be difficult to get, and even more challenging to maintain.
Sleeping issues are not few and far between for Britons, with an estimated third of the population experiencing insomnia in their lifetime according to the NHS.
What about those nights we just can’t drift off, or the moment you hear one little noise outside, and you know you’re awake for another few hours? These seemingly small things can have a significant impact on our health in both the short term and long term.
On top of that, there are many other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea and REM sleep behaviour disorder, that are a part of some people’s everyday lives.
So, how can we improve our sleep?
Quality of Sleep and the Four Stages
To improve sleep, it’s important to first understand sleep and why the quality of sleep is important.
There are four stages of sleep that people can enter during a period of sleep. The stages of sleep you experience will indicate the quality of sleep you are getting.
Non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep consists of three different stages, with the fourth being REM sleep itself.
Stage one is known as the drifting stage, where you drift from being awake to being asleep. This stage doesn’t actually last very long, and during it you might start to relax and dream. This is also where your body usually makes abrupt involuntary movements.
Stage two will see you in a light sleep, but this sleep is becoming more stable as your heartbeat and breathing slow down. Your body starts to relax further, your temperature decreases, and your brain waves are less active.
Stage three and four are the stages where you really start to rest, with stage three being an entering of a deep sleep, and stage four being the deepest of the stages.
Stage four is the stage where it is most unlikely for you to be woken up by a noise or a nudge as your muscles are completely relaxed. This is where the common saying “dead to the world” is used.
Stage four of sleep is the ultimate goal. It is within this stage that your body repairs itself, hormones are released to heal the body, tissue grows, and cellular energy is restored.
Be Smart About What You Eat and Drink
What you eat and drink can have such a drastic effect on the quality of sleep you can achieve.
You’ll likely have heard advice before on not having caffeine before bedtime, and to limit the amount of alcohol you consume. This is because these substances can have a huge effect on your circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm is responsible for your physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle. By affecting it, your body might not be able to shut off properly at the end of the day, not realising that it is time to sleep.
Eating a lot before going to bed can also wreak havoc on this rhythm, as your body is supposed to be preparing to rest, but instead, is going through the process of digesting, which requires the bodies to use energy instead of it conserving it.
Some foods can actually be helpful for promoting sleep such as a light, ‘carby’ snack, but avoid full meals or anything stimulating.
Carbs are the go-to when it comes to sleeping as they quickly raise blood sugar levels, which means the inevitable drop will make us sleepy.
Carbs are also known to boost tryptophan and serotonin, which are two brain chemicals involved in sleep, and feeling peaceful.
Use Natural Supplements as an Aid
There are many reasons people don’t want to use prescribed sleeping tablets, but that doesn’t mean there is no hope.
Using natural supplements such as melatonin or herbs that induce sleep, such as lavender and valerian, can be an excellent alternative.
The latest supplement that can benefit sleep is CBD oil which is a non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant. This may come as no surprise as cannabis has been used as a sleeping agent all over the globe.
Clear Your Mind
It’s not a shock that what isn’t conducive to good sleep is when your brain is whirring at full speed the moment your head hits the pillow. We’ve all been there, but how on earth do we stop it?
Using meditation techniques can help to calm our mind down. Meditating is simply anything that gets you to focus on one thing and be present with it no matter what is going on. Some people find focusing on breathing helpful; others may focus on counting, or even colouring in a picture before they go to sleep. Meditation is much like a bath for your brain; just let it soak and relax.
As mentioned above, CBD oil is a great supplent for de-stressing.
CBD is growing in popularity, and as research is pushed to the forefront of mainstream news, so are the different kinds of products you can use, such as CBD oil.
Many studies have now revealed the positive effects CBD can have on sleep, such as helping to treat REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder and insomnia.
As well as helping with sleep disorders, CBD can help with general poor sleep, by helping to reduce feelings of stress or pain which may be stopping you from getting the quality and quantity of sleep you need.
If you’d like to find out more about how CBD can help you and what our products can do for you, then take a look at our range available at ElleVance to find the perfect solution for you.
We have a range of CBD products, including oils, capsules and balms for you to choose from!