That mysterious need we all have comprising approximately one third of our entire lives.
How did you learn to sleep? Seems like it just... happened, didn't it?
It turns out that most of us have never been taught how to sleep. We simply follow the habits we fall into from our childhood, altered by the distractions of adulthood.
This is a manual on relearning sleep. It's not medical advice. It will help you question your assumptions about what really contributes to a good night's sleep.
Before its Bedtime
The human body burns extra energy at nighttime to keep you warm so a relatively cooler ambient temperature often helps in falling asleep, and staying asleep, more comfortably.
Of course, there are those who become extra cold at night and will need to add on an extra blanket! Our Memory Foam Contoured Pillow contains cooling gems which take the heat away from your head and help to keep your cool through the night. The contour also cradles your head to maintain an optimal a spinal alignment so you don't wake up with a sore neck in the morning.
Whatever it is, make yourself comfortable and have your bed and surrounding environment set up for an easy doze off.
Make sure you don't bring your phone, tablet, laptop or other reading materials into bed. If possible, it's best to consume these in a separate space. Keep the bed for sleeping and leave all of your devices in your living room or office.
Exposure to natural light is a great way to get your circadian rhythms back into a routine. Similarly, blocking out light is a good way to get your mind to unwind and fall asleep.
At night, leading up to bedtime, if you are using an iPhone or iPad, use the Night Shift mode to warm the colour temperature of your screen (try Twilight on Android). Blue light, which comes from your TV, computer, and phone (when not in night mode) is similar to the type of light our great ancestors would see at the break of daylight and trigger them to awaken. This is great for waking up, but terrible just before bedtime.
Instead, the warmer tones you'll see when your phone or computer is in night mode are similar to the rich yellow light that you would see around a campfire.
Oh, glorious nap-time! But wait... keep naps to a minimum. Power naps are proven to refresh the mind but only if they're approximately 20 minutes long. After this duration you will go into deep sleep and feel more groggy when you're forced to wake up before your sleep cycle is complete!
There are apps which let you nap and slowly wake you up to the sound of something peaceful as well as detect your sleep cycles in order you to wake up at the right point in your sleep cycle.
It's best to go to bed at the same time every night and develop a nighttime routine. Gradually, your mind and body will become accustomed to this routine and each time those particular events occur in succession your body will be programmed to nod off!
Don't Lay Awake
If you've spent more than 20-30 minutes tossing and turning in bed then jump out and do something that is guaranteed to tire you out. Read or listen to something non-stimulating. Our favourites are books and podcasts on history and philosophy (stay away from politics!)
Alternatively, try some relaxation and calming apps which are very effective in switching off the brain. We love to use Headspace.
If you find worrisome thoughts keep entering your mind, keep a notepad and pen on your bedside table and jot these things down. Better yet, get into the practice of making 'To-do' lists at the end of your day so there aren't any outstanding matters lingering in your mind that night.
This guide is a continual work in progress and we will update it from time to time.
We hope incorporating these tips will help you achieve a wonderful slumber.