Thursday, February 29, 2024

16 Sleep Essentials for sleeping easy all year-round

Must read

Enjoying a better night’s sleep topped many of our New Year’s resolutions lists as we rolled our way into 2023, but three months in and we’re still not quite managing to pull it off. For whatever reasons that may be (stress, anxiety, work, general emotional chaos), there’s no better time than World Sleep Day to gently lay your head and turn that resolution into reality.

Obviously, we can’t magically erase any of the qualms that might be keeping you up at night, but what we can do is help you find a good sleep routine that’ll get you ready for bed each night, with the aim to feel calmer, relaxed and in a better state of mind to slip into a restful 40 winks. As with anything in life, if you equip yourself with the right tools, your chance of success is going to be significantly higher.

Stripping things right down to the basics of your sleep environment with your mattress and bedding, all the way to the high-tech tools that can ease you in and out of sleep a little more effectively and help you track the number of Zs you’re actually catching each night, consider this your guide to the sleep essentials (and luxuries) of modern life. 

Why is getting a good night’s sleep important?

Before we get into some of the items that can help boost your sleep, let’s take a moment to remind ourselves why it’s so vital that we’re getting the best we can. According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School this year using data from 170, 000 people, getting good sleep can ‘add nearly five years to your life’. And who really wants to play around with life expectancy? When you look at how this translates into life in the UK, Mental Health UK reports that ‘almost one in five people in the UK aren’t getting enough sleep’, which is more than a little concerning. Good sleep is not only important for your well-being and energy levels on a daily basis, but it can also have an impact on your long-term health, lowering your risk of certain diseases and helping support your mental health.

What are common sleep problems?

Sleep problems can arise from countless areas in your life, and often you’ll find that more than one will be working in tandem to make it difficult for you to sleep. Mental Health UK separates sleep problems into a selection of different groups, including environmental issues (noise, light, screens, pollution), life events (distractions and upcoming activities), thinking cycles (anxious thoughts, stress) and lifestyle (exercise habits, alcohol, diet, caffeine, phones, work). 

While some of these are easier to fix than others (it’s a lot easier to change your diet than it is to eradicate anxious thoughts), it’s safe to say you won’t be able to completely wipe these all out in one fell swoop. And it’s also worth noting that if you feel like you experience ongoing sleeping problems, you should, of course, contact a health professional.

Latest article