Lifestyle Wellness

Five Tips For Better Sleep

Words by Keven Amfo

17 April 2021


Make the most of time spent under the covers with these five tips from world-renowned mattress makers and sleep experts, Hästens.

Since 1852, Hästens has created mattresses and sleep accessories out of materials such as horsehair and flax. Their premium quality, naturally derived mattresses are all sustainably produced from ethically sourced materials – meaning that you can rest easy. Considered the foremost experts in all things sleep, they partner with some of the world’s thought leaders in sleep, health and mindfulness to maximise time spent in bed.

In consult with sleep specialist Dr Michael Breus PhD, they share five tips for a stress-free night to make the most out of sleep and truly wind down.

Adjust your diet

Diet impacts sleep. There are many foods that will lead to a night of better sleep. Most importantly, you should focus on protein-rich foods such as eggs, fish, broccoli, almonds and chicken breast. These foods have been shown to help people fall asleep faster.

Foods with high fibre values are sleep-boosters as well. They have been connected to longer times spent in REM sleep. Fibre-rich foods include avocados, pears, chickpeas, dark chocolate and lentils; you should eat your meals at least three hours before bedtime, whenever possible.

The power-down hour

What you do the hour before going to bed will likely affect your sleep. By introducing the power-down hour into your nighttime routine, you can reduce stress and embrace harmony before bedtime. The power-down hour is a way of dividing the last hour of the night into three twenty-minute sections.

The first twenty minutes, get any unfinished business done – take out the rubbish, walk the dog, etc. For the second twenty minutes, do something relaxing – for example, use Hästens Restore App to reduce stress levels. And during the final twenty minutes, complete bedtime personal hygiene rituals in preparation for getting into bed.

Take a deep breath

It almost goes without saying: stress will lead to trouble falling asleep. However, there are several techniques to lower stress. One method is to practice deep breathing. When taking a deep inhale and holding your breath, you are increasing the body’s oxygen level. A long, slow exhale is inherently relaxing and is very similar to the pace of breathing your body adopts when falling asleep.

Here is a technique to remind your body of the breathing patterns of sleep:

1. Inhale for four seconds
2. Hold your breath for seven seconds
3. Exhale slowly for eight seconds
4. Repeat

Use the power of imagination

When you think about something – for example, eating an excellent meal – you will likely have a physical reaction to the thought, as in a watering mouth. This fantastic feature of our minds and bodies can be used to reduce stress when falling asleep.

When you lie in your bed, spend a few minutes in a restful guided image journey. Imagine being in a warm breeze or floating peacefully in water. Whilst it might take a bit of mental training to execute properly and become habitual, this guided imagery technique can incite deep relaxative states.

Reduce artificial light

Watching TV or scrolling social media right before bedtime could harm your sleep. Devices such as mobile phones, laptops, TVs and tablets all emit blue light. This kind of light suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.

Therefore, you should cut down on blue light exposure about 90 minutes before bedtime. Ensure the bedroom is dark for the duration of your sleep as well.

Quintessentially members are entitled to a complimentary set of Hästens High Pillows (value, £700) when purchasing a Hästens Bed. Enquire for more details, or visit Hästens new London store: 79-81 Wigmore Street, W1U 1DL.

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