How to Create a Sound Sleep Schedule

Sleep is everywhere you look these days. Whether it be the Joe Rogan podcast, the Amazon bestseller list or BBC Panorama, even your mobile phone and watch, discussions around sleep are popping up everywhere. 

The fact of the matter is, sleep is critically important to our wellbeing, more important than we initially imagined. The more we learn about sleep, the more we begin to understand just HOW important it is for us. Remarkably, 60% of adults and 69% of children report sleep problems at least a few nights each week. Even more remarkably, most, if not all of these issues go untreated or unresolved, with the issue just compounding over time. 

Sleep problems are associated with serious health issues such as weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more. Short term, sleep issues are also associated with daytime sleepiness, lack of focus or attention and impaired memory, all of which can impact your performance in the workplace or school. Sleep issues are known to place greater stress on relationships and impact overall quality of life. 

Poor sleep is, of course, most commonly associated with fatigue and lack of energy during the day. This often results in an over reliance on stimulants such as caffeine during the day to boost energy, which can further interfere with sleep. Good sleep is possibly the best way of improving your day to day energy levels. It’s like plugging your phone in to recharge!

If that is not enough to motivate you to invest more time and effort into your sleep habits then this final nugget of information may well do! Chronic sleep deprivation can significantly increase circulating cortisol, the stress hormone. This can negatively impact collagen production and accelerate signs of aging. So sleep deprivation can quite literally impact the way you look. 

Sleep is an absolutely essential part of our overall well being. Prioritising and protecting sleep should be at the top of our agenda each day. Not only enough sleep (duration), but enough high quality sleep too! Think about it practically, you spend X on a gym membership and personal training, XY on quality food and Z on various skin treatments. Sleep trumps all of these in regard to health benefits and the required investment is minimal!

The issues around sleep are widely reported, as are the benefits of good sleep. But too much concern over sleep can lead to sleep anxiety and insomnia; simply sitting in bed trying to sleep, but keeping yourself awake with worry about not being able to fall asleep. Fear not, we have some simple sleep tips to help you!


Sleep do’s and don’ts

Research has shown that simple lifestyle, food and exercise adjustments can positively impact our sleep. 

1. Lifestyle, nutrition and exercise habits 

  • Have a consistent sleep and wake schedule
  • Limit daytime napping 
  • Avoid eating large meals before bed
  • Avoid drinking too much before bed
  • Avoid caffeine for 8-hours before bed (including tea, coffee, energy drinks, diet soft drinks and dark chocolate)
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Exercise daily

2. Reduce stress and relax

  • Journal and document your concerns
  • Practice breathe work
  • Practice meditation
  • Avoid stressful tasks or situations before bed
  • Read or do something enjoyable before bed
  • Keep the bedroom clean, tidy and free of clutter
  • Have a warm shower before bed
3. Sleep surroundings
  • Eliminate noises and distractions
  • Keep the bedroom cool at night (18C / 64F)
  • Remove all electronics
  • Ensure the room is dark with blackout curtains if possible
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows

Sleep strategy

Use the 10-3-2-1-0 sleep rule for sound sleep. 

  • 10-hours before bed: no more caffeine
  • 3-hours before bed: no more food or alcohol
  • 2-hours before bed: no more work
  • 1-hour before bed: no more screen time and a warm shower
  • 0: the number of times you hit snooze in the morning

Sleep food, fluid and supplements

There is some evidence to suggest the foods we eat, and also certain drinks and supplements that we consume, might benefit sleep. They include tart cherries, kiwi fruits and pistachio nuts, all of which contain small quantities of melatonin and serotonin. 

Furthermore, ingredients such as tryptophan, theanine and glycine all benefit sleep when consumed around 1-hour prior to bedtime by reducing stress and anxiety, and reducing the time taken to fall asleep. 

We recognize that sleep supplements cannot overcome the more significant lifestyle habits that we mentioned previously. But the addition of a B.Fresh Sleep Shot every evening can certainly help in perfecting the nighttime ritual for uninterrupted, quality rest.

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