March is National Sleep Month, so you may be asking yourself- how can I improve my sleep and ensure it’s as restful as it can be? As March is coming to an end we wanted to share our thoughts on how you can improve your sleep with routines that you can carry out, when National Sleep Month is over.
There are lots of elements to improve the quality of your sleep so let’s start with something that our body controls- Melatonin. How does Melatonin impact our sleep and how can we make changes to our bedtime routines to reap the potential benefits?
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. Interestingly Melatonin levels in your body fluctuate between the day and night. This hormone is created by the brain in response to darknes
At night, the body’s levels of Melatonin rise and then they return to normal during the day. This change in hormone level helps your circadian rhythms (the timing of your body’s natural clock) and controls how and when the body sleeps.
To summarise, Melatonin doesn’t make you sleep but as the levels rise at night, it promotes sleep by helping the body to unwind.
So how can we naturally increase our Melatonin levels to promote sleep?
Take a warm bath-
When we take a warm bath or shower, it makes our blood circulate around the body from our core through to our hands and feet. This movement of blood causes the body’s temperature to decrease. Therefore, if we increase our body temperature over 37 degrees, the body’s natural response is to make that temperature fall. As a result, the drop in temperature mimics the natural decrease that happens when we sleep and and as a result signals the body to produce
Melatonin, which can help you fall asleep faster. Therefore a great way to help our bodies to trigger its melatonin production is to take a bath before bed.
How to create a relaxing bath?
Adding essential oils into your bath time rituals can also help to calm the body and mind. The Spritz Wellness Relax Bath Salts harness the power of natural ingredients Lavender and Chamomile to release their soothing scents. As an added benefit, Spritz Wellness Relax Bath Salts also nourish the skin and help to eases muscle pain with their hand-crafted blend of Epsom and Sea Salts.
Reduce exposure to light before bed
- At nighttime in order to feel completely relaxed, it’s important to allow our brains to switch off and ensure they aren’t over-stimulated by light exposure.
In today’s world, it’s easy to get distracted with the constant stream of technology and smartphones but the time spent scrolling on our phones in bed can be negatively affecting our Melatonin levels and our bodies natural sleep cycle. It’s not only the blue light from technology that can negatively affect our sleep quality but artificial light in the room too. This may sound obvious that having the light on makes it harder to fall asleep but this exposure to light at bedtime can actually slow the production of Melatonin in the body because Melatonin increases in the brain during periods of darkness and this level decreases when our bodies are exposed to light.
How to reduce light exposure before bed?
A way to combat this is to dim the lights in the bedroom at least one hour before intending to sleep. A tool that is effective in blocking light and helping the brain to wind down and fall into a state of relaxation ready for sleep is The Spritz Wellness Aromatherapy Eye Pillow. The Eye Pillows are filled with natural ingredients- Lavender, Chamomile, Linseed and Buckwheat Hull so that they release the benefits of soothing aromatherapy but are also weighted to help the mind and body to feel calm and to block out light. They are the perfect bedside companion for helping the body to relax. The Eye Pillows also help with seasonal sleep needs because they can be heated up in the microwave and cooled down in the freezer depending on the needs of the season. Multi-functional and beautifully crafted with Liberty London fabrics, a Spritz Wellness Eye Pillow is a bedroom staple.
Try to limit stress-
With the growing demands of daily life it can be easy to allow stress to creep in at nighttime and allow the mind to spiral with stressful thoughts from the day or about the following day. The reason why stress negatively impacts our ability to fall asleep is because the stress hormone (Cortisol) is also connected to our internal body clock. In comparison to Melatonin our Cortisol levels are typically high during the day and low at night. However, stress can disrupt this balance and as a result, impact our Melatonin production leaving the body in a restless state. In order to prevent stress from creating this disruption it's important to create a relaxing environment to fall asleep in.
How to create a relaxing environment that promotes sleep?
This can be done by adding two steps into your sleep routine- utilising the benefits of Aromatherapy and releasing negative thoughts from the mind through journalling.
Journalling is a mindfulness practice that encourages the mind to release thoughts onto a page and subsequently reduce the amount of stressful thoughts in the brain. By taking just ten minutes to journal before bedtime, the heaviness of stressful thoughts can ease and the mind can feel clear and ready for rest. An effective method to try is to write down all negative thoughts from the day and put them in an envelope and put it away until the morning. The act of putting the negative thoughts away and out of sight can encourage the brain to register that those stressful thoughts can be addressed the following day and don’t need to be disrupting the sleep pattern. To help form this habit, it is good practice to keep a journal or even blank piece of paper and pen by the bed.
Sleep Spray and Pillow Mists are also beneficial because they help to create a relaxing environment through scent. The Spritz Wellness Sleep Atmosphere Mist is crafted with the calming and comforting blend of Lavender, Mandarin, Ravensara and Chamomile. All of which have benefits to aid sleep. They help to calm the nervous system and relive stress. By spraying the pillow before getting into bed the natural blend encourages the body to wind down and drift off naturally.