As a sleep specialist, one of the most common problems reported is waking through the evening. Primarily attributed to the factors below, I wanted to hero key strategies to overcome these common sleep stealers for the Triple White community. Consequently, you’re more likely to wake up rejuvenated, refreshed and revitalised – exactly as you should.
Problem 1: you’re too stressed
For those with an overwhelming schedule or on the edge of burn out, this is for you. The stress hormone cortisol increases feelings of anxiety, with symptoms like an inability to switch off, a ‘racing’ mind and restlessness. If this happens at night, this means you won’t be able to fall asleep.
Important to note here that de-stressing can occur via psychology or physiology – so the solutions below, although they won’t solve problems like a financial strain or bickering besties, they will effectively calm you down.
- Reduce exposure to blue light, particularly in the evening – heightening your release of cortisol, blue light from ceiling lights and devices prolongs cortisol release (making you feel wired) 90 minutes after your last exposure. Obviously feeling wired as you’re trying to get to sleep is not ideal, so using blue light blocking glasses in the evening is key.
- Smell some lavender. Diffuse it, shower with it, lather it on your body – whatever works for you. Research pinpoints lavender activates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress hormone cortisol. In doing so, this means you’re calmer and your brain is more likely to switch off.
- Have a sleep tea. Similarly to lavender, teas which feature ingredients such as chamomile and passionflower (in many blends) have the capacity to counteract stress hormone. Chamomile contains a flavonoid called apigenin that binds to benzodiazepine receptors – which causes you to be calm. interestingly, the activation of benzodiazepine receptors occurs via sleeping pills too – so you can say that chamomile is natures own sleeping pill.
Problem 2: you’re
Melatonin, the hormone to make you sleepy, is synthesised when the body naturally drops in core body temperature.
- Keeping your environment cool – between 18-21 degrees is ideal, even in winter.
- Have a thermoregulatory fabric, such as wool. Natural fibres like wool has a high hygroscopicity – the ability to absorb moisture, more so than synthetic fibres. Further, they pinpoint as body temperature rises, wool transfers additional heat the cooler exterior.
- Wear wool or silk PJs too – for the same reasons above. Additionally, if you genuinely love your PJ’s on a psychological level you’ll be more enthused about bedtime, rather than apprehensive.
Olivia Arezzolo is a Sleep Specialist who aims to help people fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up more refreshed. Connect with her on instagram or head to her website here.