Tips to help you wind down so you can get a great night's sleep

Tips to help you wind down so you can get a great night's sleep

Getting a great night's sleep isn't just about the length of time we are asleep for but it is also about attaining adequate hours of good quality sleep. Good quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being and is necessary for the body and mind to function at their best. 

There are two essential kinds of sleep non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM).

  • NREM sleep helps your body wind down and fall into a deep sleep, which allows you to feel more rested in the morning. NREM sleep can help us physically heal, recover from illness, deal with stress, and solve problems. NREM sleep also plays a role in memory consolidation and can help boost the immune system.
  • REM sleep affects your mood, memory, and learning efficiency. Getting enough REM sleep can improve recall and memory consolidation and help your brain regulate the synapses associated with some types of motor learning. REM sleep is the sleep phase closest to wakefulness, and where most of our dreaming occurs. {Source}

Your nightly sleep is made up of several rounds of the sleep cycle of which NREM and REM form a part of. In a standard night, you will go through four to six sleep cycles. Not all sleep cycles are the same length, but on average they last about 90 minutes each. 

Winding down before sleep is important because it can help to regulate the sleep-cycle and improve sleep consistency, leading to better sleep quality overall. Winding down helps by allowing the mind and body to gradually transition from the activities of the day to a state of rest. Instead of going from 100 to 0, in a wind down process we can go from 100 to 75, to 50, for example or even further to 25 so when we get into bed we can get into NREM sleep quicker and then REM. The end result meaning we can achieve more sleep cycles during the night and wake up feeling well rested, mentally restored and with energy to take on the day.

Tips to help you wind down so you can get a great night's sleep

The exact steps you take to wind down each night before sleep will be unique to you but here are some things that will help you wind down so you can get a great night's sleep.

Have a pre-bed routine

tips to help you wind down

Having a consistent pre-bed routine begins to cue your mind and body that it is time to go to sleep. A pre-bed routines is any series of steps that you take in the lead up to going to sleep. It might look something like this:

  • Get your clothes out for work the next day
  • Write in a gratitude journal
  • Write your to do list for the next day
  • Brush your teeth and get changed into pj's
  • Set your alarm

The most important part of the routine is going to bed at the same time each evening. Your body has its own internal clock, heading to bed late one night and early upsets your circadian rhythm and will make getting consistent sleep difficult. 

Avoid screens

tips to help you wind down

The blue light emitted by screens, such as smartphones, computers, and televisions, can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Screen time before bed can also be mentally stimulating, making it difficult to unwind and relax, leading to difficulty falling asleep and achieving restful sleep.

It's recommended to limit screen time before bed, or at a minimum use screens equipped with blue light filters, and to avoid screens for at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime to ensure a good night's sleep.

Relaxing activities

tips to help you wind down

While you are avoiding screens in the lead up to bed there are many relaxing activities you can do to help you wind down:

  • Take a hot bath or shower - a hot bath or shower is a great way to relax your body and clear your head before bed. Getting warm before bed can drop your body temperature once you’re in bed (which is needed to for good quality sleep) and it can make you feel sleepier.
  • Listen to calming music - pre-select some calming music or nature sounds to help you relax during the time before you go to bed. Slow and relaxing music can help to slow down the heart rate and breathing, promoting a state of relaxation and calmness.
  • Do some gentle stretching or bedtime yoga - gentle stretching or yoga poses can help to relieve physical tension and promote physical relaxation, improving sleep quality. Also the deep breathing associated with these movements can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and calm the mind.

Supplements to help wind down

tips to help you wind down

Some supplements can help with winding down and promoting sleep, but it's important to note that they should not be used as a substitute for healthy sleep habits that are noted above! Here are some supplements that you can think about using on top of your healthy sleep habits:

  • Valerian root - valerian root is a natural supplement commonly used as a sleep aid. It is thought to have a calming effect on the mind and body, promoting feelings of relaxation and helping to improve sleep quality.
  • Magnesium - magnesium is an essential mineral that has a calming effect on the nervous system, reducing feelings of stress and promoting relaxation.
  • Chamomile - chamomile is a natural remedy commonly used to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. It has a calming effect on the mind and body, promoting feelings of relaxation and improving sleep quality.
  • L-theanine - L-theanine is an amino acid that is not common in the diet and it promotes relaxation without drowsiness. It is also a key ingredient in Adapt Drinks Relax! Having a late afternoon/early evening can of Adapt Drinks Relax can help you wind down and get a great night's sleep. Click here to shop the Adapt Drinks Relax range.

By investing the time to creating a relaxing wind down routine, the body can recognise that it is time to sleep helping you fall to sleep quicker, leading to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience for you each night.

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Sparkling Adaptogenic Drinks

Adapt Drinks Relax is the perfect drink to help you wind down at the end of the day. Containing adaptogenic herbs and amino acids that have been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation, Adapt Drinks Relax is a nightly ritual you can enjoy that is rewarding, delicious and good for you.

So go ahead and pour yourself a glass. You deserve it.