Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep? The importance of a restful night’s slumber can never be underestimated. Not only is this vital for your mood, but your health too. One of the reasons why a lot of people do not get the sleep they need is because they have been ill advised. Below, we take a look at some of the most commonly believed myths about getting a better night’s sleep:
- The best time to go to bed is when you’re exhausted – Yes, you will fall asleep easily if you are exhausted. However, when it comes to quality of sleep, it is crucial that you go to bed at the same time every night. Research shows that you will fall asleep faster if you follow a routine.
- Being warm makes for a good sleep – You need to be careful of overheating. If you are too warm, it can result in a disrupted sleep. To improve your sleep, keep a cool body temperature. This allows melatonin to do its job. Melatonin aids a restful night’s slumber while also offering anti-ageing benefits too. Around 18-22C is considered the optimum body temperature.
- Alcohol helps you get to sleep – A lot of people have a few glasses of wine before they go to bed because they believe it will help them to fall asleep. While alcohol may help you to doze off initially, it will result in a very restless night. You are bound to toss and turn, and wake up several times throughout the night. Plus, you could become dependant on alcohol to sleep. If you’re currently in this position, there are plenty of useful articles on how to stop drinking. Don’t substitute alcohol for medication. There are other (better) ways to wean yourself off your reliance on using alcohol to get to sleep at night!
- It’s bad to eat before you go to sleep – Eating a large meal before you go to bed is not advised, as your body will struggle to do its job. However, this does not mean that you cannot eat anything at all. Bananas are a great snack for before bed, as they are an exceptional natural source of potassium and magnesium, which naturally relax the muscles. They also contain L-tryptophan, which is an amino acid that converts into melatonin, the sleep hormone, and serotonin, the feel-good chemical.
- You can catch up on lost sleep by sleeping in on the weekends – Making up for a few sleepless nights on the weekend is not advised. In fact, research from Penn State reveals that it is hard to recover from such lost sleep. Plus, again, it all comes down to sleep quality. Going to sleep at the same time and waking up at the same time every day is important.
- A cup of herbal tea will help you to go to sleep faster – Many herbal teas, such as lemon balm and chamomile, are touted for having sleep-promoting properties. However, there have not been any clinical studies to prove their effectiveness.