Sleeping isn’t really anything new

A new buzz word entered the common consciousness this year, with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow extolling the virtues of clean sleeping. Cue people who have previously been requesting an extra day in the week to get things done, wondering how they would begin to fit a full eight hours of quality sleep into twenty-four hours packed with daily workouts, a ‘clean eating’ schedule, an eight-hour working day, school runs, homework, dog walking…in effect, turning something that is aimed at promoting relaxation and proper rest, into yet another thing to stress and worry about.

But wait, don’t panic! On closer inspection, it would seem that clean sleeping isn’t really anything new. Just a trendy name attached to a series of common-sense, achievable behaviours, that most of us aim to do, or are at least aware of anyway.

With a full night sleep linked to better weight management and increased productivity at work, at Maple Health Group we’re all about lightening the load and minimising stress. We know that a good night’s kip is so very important to you, so we’ve rounded up our favourite tips to debunk the myths surrounding your slumber:

1. Avoid alcohol
Many people believe that having ‘a nightcap’ is a sure-fire way to drift off to dreamland. Whilst the immediate effects may have the desired outcome, the presence of alcohol in your system can have the opposite effect and lead to a restless night. Alcohol stimulates cortisol production and is also a diuretic

2. Switch off, tune out

In the busy modern world, it’s hard to escape the screen. From a computer monitor in work to the smartphone in your hand, more and more of us are finding it hard to drift off because we take Twitter to bed with us. Allow yourself at least thirty minutes tech-free time before you set your morning alarm, to give light-sensitive sleepy hormones a chance to settle, giving you the chance of an uninterrupted deep sleep.

3. Sanctuary

There’s a reason why cliches become cliches. It’s because they ring true for so many of us. So when we say ‘a tidy house, a tidy mind’, it might be time to grab the vacuum and pick up some clothes and give your bedroom some TLC. Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary, designed specifically for peaceful sleep. It is a work-free zone. Don’t bring the stresses of the day into a space that should be dedicated to relaxation.

4. Exercise

Wonderful, wonderful exercise, is there anything it can’t do (except clean the house)? Perfect for a stress busting, energising pick me up when you need it, it also means that later that day you’ll be snoozing to your heart’s content. Avoid exercising late in the evening, however, as you might find yourself restless from the feel-good endorphins rushing around your body.

5. Early to bed

The hours achieved by getting to sleep before midnight can be more beneficial than the hours slept after midnight. Try pushing your bedtime half an hour earlier, as see if you feel more refreshed in the morning.

Try adopting these tips, even just one or two, to help improve your bedtime routine to achieve that longed-for, quality sleep, without worrying so much about the number of hours your head spends on the pillow, and you’ll wake up with a spring in your step and a productive, happier day ahead. Sleep tight!

MHG Tip: Combine your new bedtime ritual with a soothing sophrology exercise for an ultra effective sleep system.