The Westin Cape Town recently released a presser with research findings claiming 40% of South African citizens are not sleeping enough. This lack of sleep could, in turn, lead to weight gain, depression and impaired brain activity.
So how do you combat insomnia and guarantee a good night’s rest? Try some of these tips:
Anton Fourie, a clinical technologist at the Milnerton Sleep Lab based at Mediclinic Milnerton Hospital, says you should look at what he calls sleep tools.
“Comfort during the course of the night means you can get in the required amount of sleeping hours, of which the benchmark is around eight hours a night. Your pillow, for one, is important from a sleep support point of view. And you need the right pillow to best support your airways,” says Fourie.
Create a bedtime ritual
Doing the same things each night before it’s time to go to bed is a good way to tell your body it’s time to wind down. This could be taking a long, relaxing bath or shower, reading in a comfy spot or listening to music that soothes you – whatever makes you feel peaceful and relaxed. The Huffington Post has 10 tips for how to create a bedtime ritual, which may help you create your own personal one.
Create a sleep schedule
Going to bed at around the same time every day (even on days off) could help your body’s sleep cycle and even help you lose weight according to this study on Forbes.
But don't expect it to change overnight, however. Making gradual changes to your sleep schedule will help your body’s internal clock adjust to your new bedtime and help you sleep better in the long-term.
Try not to eat anything too close to bedtime
You might think a little snack in bed never hurt anyone, but it could actually be harming your sleep cycle. Eating a bit too much could make you uncomfortable and this, in turn, could disrupt your sleep. Here’s a list of foods you should avoid before bed.
Try a natural remedy
You could try medication or a melatonin supplement to help you sleep, but these can often leave you feeling groggy the next day and the effects tend to wear off over time.
Natural remedies, however, work with your body’s natural chemicals. You could try drinking cherry juice, valerian root tea or any of these other natural remedies.