Why is it so hard to sleep in a modern world?

Why is it so hard to get to sleep in our modern world?

We are living in an age where information is at our fingertips and we are connected to the modern world and those around us constantly. Mobile technology has enabled us to communicate more, to access others easily, to be more available and logged in all the time. Many now seem to wonder; why is it so hard to sleep in a modern world?

These days we all have a mobile device – it’s not a generational thing either. Our Granny’s have iPads, our kids have tablets and our teenagers have smartphones. We are able to get hold of almost anything at almost any time and the world is more accessible that it has ever been before. 

But is all of this a good thing?! Or is this level of connectivity contributing to our sleep problems more than ever??

For some, perpetual connectivity comes with constant pressure. Pressure to be available, pressure to look and behave like those perceived to be looking and behaving perfectly, pressure to eat certain things, go certain places and have specific things.

This quest for perceived perfection has taken over many of our lives and is taking its toll on our mental health and affecting our ability to sleep. Ever heard that saying ‘the grass is always greener’? Well, social media allegedly tells us what everyone else is up to but a lot of what we see is not actually real life – just a filtered version of the good parts.

Modern technology has jumped in leaps and bounds in recent decades with mobile devices getting smarter, TV’s getting bigger, screens becoming more real and in the midst of all of this, have we stopped to wonder if maybe this level of exposure is detrimental to our health?

How we sleep at night has never been more important when faced with the modern world we live in.

photo-1612534526511-dd27833d6e50

Way back when, before electricity and artificial lights, our physiological selves woke with the sun, experienced an active waking lifestyle during daylight houses and felt sleepy with its setting, shutting down our homeostatic drives ready for restorative sleep. 

Our circadian rhythms were in tune with the regular cycle of light and dark dictated to by the passing of day and night. Now we are exposed to light from the moment we wake to long after dark in the form of our phones, computers, tablets and other devices. This prolific and prolonged exposure to light must be having an effect of our sleep quality too, right?

How does light exposure affect sleep?

Light exposure, especially the blue light many of our screens use, has been found to hinder melatonin production and can keep us alert when we really should be starting to feel tired. The average time spent in front of a screen must be at an all-time high and it’s no wonder many of us are feeling sleep anxiety. 

Scrolling through your phone before bed, working on your tablet in the evening or even watching TV before you go to sleep can all affect your bodies circadian rhythms and obstruct our ability to produce melatonin – that helpful hormone that helps us to feel sleepy. 

Rather than inducing tiredness, light is stimulating and gets us ready for action, not ready for bed!

Why can’t I sleep?

With so much going on around us all the time, it’s no wonder our brains sometimes struggle to switch off at the end of a busy day. Bad habits such as reading work emails late at night, scrolling through our social media news feeds and even reading on tablets and e-readers before bed expose us to light at a time when our bodies should be feeling sleeping and powering down for the night.

Let’s look at some of the reasons you may be struggling to sleep at night.

Devices

Our screens, and we all have them in our homes, emit light which receptors in our eyes respond to. Messages are sent down our optical nerves to the brain telling us if they’re perceiving light then it must not be time to go to sleep yet. Our circadian rhythms are sent completely out of whack and melatonin, that wonderful sleep-inducing hormone, production is hindered.

Try turning off your device a couple of hours before bed to reduce eye strain and avoid those stimulating short wavelength blue light rays. If you find you are unable to switch off, consider buying some blue light glasses to help with this by filtering out much of the blue light waves.

Mental health issues

Worryingly many of us are being diagnosed with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar and eating disorders, at a rate that seems to be increasing. We are faced with so much more information than ever before that this can add to feelings of inadequacy, pressure and anxiety.

Juggling life and work can be challenging for many adults, or for teenagers, school and homework. Work-related stress can make it difficult to switch off leading us to spend longer at our computers and other devices, increasing this already high level of light exposure.

Meditation and breathing techniques are strategies you can use to try to relax and unwind and get your mind ready for sleep. See our blog ‘How to get to sleep fast’ for more information on techniques to help power down.

Obesity

Our modern world not only makes technology accessible to all, but food availability has increased too. When we are surrounded by fast food restaurants, microwave meals and food deliveries to your door 24/7, it’s no wonder more of us are overweight that ever before. 

The NHS predicts that at least 25% of UK adults are classed as obese. With obesity comes a variety of health issues which range from increased risk to certain conditions such as diabetes and poor heart health, mental health problems including depression and even some types of cancer. Being overweight can also adversely affect your sleep quality by causing you to snore or worse, give you sleep apnoea – where you stop breathing during your sleep.

How we sleep at night affects how we feel during the day too, where those of us having lower quality sleep may tend to feel sluggish and lack motivation during the day. Sleep deprivation disrupts our hormone production too and can lead us to over-eat by not being able to feel full and to crave sugary foods in larger portions that normal, perpetuating this cyclical pattern of being overweight and struggling to sleep.

To ensure a good quality nights sleep, try maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and veg and exercise regularly to give yourself the best possible chance of a healthy body and healthy sleep.

How to get to sleep fast

To sum up, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep quality and duration and help with sleep anxiety.

  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Fix your sleep schedule
  • Limit your device use
  • Set your room temperature to cool

… and read our blog of course – ‘How to get to sleep fast!’

Is it better to sleep naked?

Is it better to sleep naked?

In the modern world we’re living in – busy work schedules, hectic home life, socialising, working out, household chores, family commitments – we often find ourselves with so much (too much?) going on.

There are always places to be and things to do and the only respite some of us get are those precious hours spent in bed. With our minds and bodies in perpetual motion, sleep is more important now, in today’s world, than it has ever been before.

Why is sleep so important?

The experts believe that we sleep to restore and repair our bodies and brains. Whilst we sleep our body is able to carry out essential maintenance work and our minds can switch off and rest.

Without sleep our ability to function properly is diminished and we can find ourselves lacking in concentration, feel lethargic and unable to think clearly.

Studies have shown that the optimum amount of sleep for an adult is between 7 – 9 hours per night, with younger people needing more and older adults needing slightly less than this.

is it better to sleep naked

Is sleeping naked better for your health?

So we understand the importance of sleep but let’s get down to the crux of this debate – IS IT BETTER TO SLEEP NAKED?

There are limited scientific studies regarding sleeping naked, so we really can’t say for definite whether it is better to sleep naked, however we can look at the arguments both for and against naked sleeping to see why you should consider losing those layers.

Benefits of sleeping naked

With or without scientific evidence to prove it, there are some obvious benefits to sleeping naked.

✔ Temperature Control

There is an optimum temperature for falling asleep and as we begin to feel tired before bed, our bodies increase melatonin production which decreases our body temperature to enable us to fall asleep easily. Our temperature continues to decrease throughout the night.

Sleeping naked can help us to lower our temperature quicker at bedtime, not only helping us to fall asleep faster but the absence of clothing can help us achieve better sleep quality by ensuring we maintain a constant cool temperature all night long.

✔ Better quality sleep

Keeping cool is one of the main benefits of sleeping naked. Being cool and staying cool is an excellent way to maintain better sleep quality. Even a slight rise in room temperature during the night can interrupt your circadian rhythms and cause you to wake up.

Once awake, it can be tricky to get back to sleep, especially if it is warm. Wearing less, or no, clothing whilst you sleep gives you the best chance of staying asleep by keeping your body temperature at a consistently cool level.

✔ Improved sexual health

For both men and women, the absence of underwear for a prolonged amount of time, such as when asleep, can help airflow around the genitals. In women, this ventilation can reduce bacteria and make yeast infections less likely.

For men, exposure to cool air by sleeping naked can reduce the testicular temperature which may lead to improved fertility.

when should you sleep naked

✔ Fertility

Some experts believe that tight-fitting underwear can have an adverse effect on mens fertility. Compression of the testicles can lead to increased testicular temperatures which can potentially reduce sperm count and motility.

Sleeping naked could be beneficial for men by lowering the temperature of the testicles and improving sperm health.

✔ Improved relationships

For couples who share a bed, sleeping naked may actually improve your relationship. Skin-to-skin contact leads to increased production of oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’.

This hormone plays an important part in attachment building and promoting feelings of connection. Evidence to support this can be found amongst studies into ‘skin time’ between parents of newborn babies and the importance of this skin-to-skin contact in building attachments.

Sleeping naked with your partner can promote feelings of intimacy, not just while you’re in close contact in bed but outside the bedroom too. Shared intimacy makes couples feel close to one another which can help improve relationships.

✔ Mental wellbeing

There is a certain sensuality in sleeping naked. The heighted sense of connection with the materials touching your skin can feel good and promote feelings of positivity and confidence.

In fact, one study in 2017 found that spending more time naked increased ‘life satisfaction’, boosted self-esteem and promoted positive body image perception. It’s not always possible to spend time naked during the day, so grab your fix at nighttime and pass on those pyjamas.

When should you sleep naked – or not

We would suggest that you only try sleeping naked if you live in your own space either by yourself or with close family who don’t mind seeing you naked. We’re not saying that you have to parade yourself around the house in front of your mum, your nan and your neighbours.

Just that if you have housemates, roommates or people in the household you’d rather didn’t see you naked, you might want to consider alternatives.

Sometimes we have to get up in the night to use the toilet, if there is an emergency, to make a midnight snack or maybe you sleepwalk. These are examples of why you should consider wearing pyjamas to bed instead of nothing. Choose nightwear made from natural fibres that is loose-fitting and comfortable instead if you’re unsure about sleeping totally naked or opt for loose underwear instead and take a step towards sleeping naked.

Top tip – if you do decide to sleep naked, keep a dressing gown close in case you need to get up during the night!

How to fall asleep fast – naked or not!

Whether you decide to sleep naked, semi-naked or not at all naked, there are still some surefire ways to get to sleep fast.

• Reduce screen time before bed
• Maintain a healthy diet
• Exercise regularly
• Sleep in a dark bedroom or wear a sleep mask
• Keep to your sleep schedule
• Avoid work, confrontation or anxiety close to bedtime
• Get lots of daylight exposure during the day
• Wear blue light blocking glasses in the evening

For more information on how to get to sleep fast, check out our recent blog by clicking here.

Sleeping naked won’t work for everyone and it’s more important to go to bed feeling comfortable to ensure the best night’s sleep.

8 hours sleep

How to fix your sleep schedule

What is a sleep schedule?

As human beings, our daily habits and routines drive our behaviours – in fact we often describe ourselves as ‘Creatures of Habit’. Our bodies have the tendency to do certain things at regular intervals; we tend to feel sleepy at the same time each night; we feel hungry at similar times each day and many of us have regular times to use the bathroom.

Repetitive patterns of behaviour mean that some of our functioning can become almost automatic enabling us to act more efficiently and often without thinking about what we’re doing.

Our sleep schedule is perhaps the most important routine in our busy lives. This is the time we go to sleep and the time we wake up each day, as well as the amount of sleep we allow ourselves.

Many of us maintain healthy sleep schedules without too much conscious effort but some of us struggle to go to bed, fall asleep and stay asleep. The good news is, focusing on improving your sleep schedule can help you achieve that coveted 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night.

sleep schedule

Why is a sleep schedule important?

Taking control of your sleep schedule can totally revolutionise, not only the way you sleep at night, but how you feel during the day too. If you struggle to switch off at night, find you can’t fall asleep easily or have a tendency to go to bed too late, then resetting your sleep schedule will help teach your body when to be tired, when to go to bed and when to wake up.

Getting more high-quality sleep will enable your body to function better, your mind to focus more and may make you feel more energetic during the day.

Our sleep schedules are so important as they help us to maintain consistent patterns of sleep which encourage the kind of high-quality sleep we need to rest and restore our body and mind.

If you’re in the habit of going to bed too late, shifting your sleeping schedule can help you feel tired earlier and therefore want to go to bed earlier.

Reasons your sleep schedule might be off kilter

Those of us who are night owls may find that they don’t feel sleepy until late at night. Going to bed late at night is not an issue so long as you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. However, if you go to bed late and wake up early, you may find that you’re not getting enough of those precious Z’s.

Working shifts can also interfere with your sleep schedule. If your shift pattern is not long enough for you to create a new daily routine, this constantly fluctuating pattern of sleeping can leave you struggling to find the best time to go to bed for the optimum amount of sleep.

There are other factors which can throw your sleep schedule into chaos. Women who are pregnant might find themselves hotter than previously which can affect your ability to get to sleep. For those in the later stages of pregnancy, getting comfortable may also disrupt your sleep schedule, leaving you feel tired and lacking in energy.

Anxiety and stress can affect your sleep schedule too. Lying awake worrying about work, family, life may mean that you’re getting a reduced amount of sleep. This in turn can become a destructive cycle of worrying more the less you sleep.

Our article on ‘How to get to sleep fast’ has some different breathing techniques you can try to help relax and bring on those much-needed sleep hormones.

tips to fix your sleep schedule

Tips to fix your sleep schedule

The good news is that fixing your sleep schedule is easy with some minor lifestyle adjustments. Stop worrying about ‘why can’t I sleep’, by following the simple steps below.

1. Fix your wake-up time.

If you know what time you have to get up each day, you can work backwards to find the optimal time for going to bed to ensure you still get the recommended amount of sleep. Sticking to a routine like this, even at the weekends, can help your body readjust to a new sleep schedule with practice. If you have a big change to make, we suggest you make small adjustments to your sleep schedule until you get to the perfect bedtime that works for you.

2. Get plenty of daylight exposure

Exposure to light is a trigger for your circadian rhythm – the biological cycle that regulates sleep. Getting outside as soon as possible in the morning can encourage feelings of wakefulness in the morning and consequently your body knows roughly when it should start to feel tired later in the day. Avoid too much light exposure close to bedtime as this will make you feel more awake and less tired.

3. Reduce blue light exposure

Blue light wavelengths are short and high-energy. We can detect light through both our eyes and skin. Exposure to blue light towards the end of the day acts as a stimulant and inhibit the body’s production of melatonin, that wonderful sleep-inducing hormone. Avoid watching screens too close to bedtime to ensure your body is prepared for sleep.

4. Exercise during the day

Exercising regularly has many benefits – maintaining a healthy bodyweight, encourages a healthy heart, promotes mental wellbeing and helps us fight off health conditions and diseases, to mention just a few. Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy sleep schedule.

Expending energy on an activity can promote feelings of tiredness and body fatigue as well as boosting our mood – all of which will help us to feel tired later in the day. Avoid exercising too close to bedtime as this will raise your body temperature and reduce the production of melatonin.

exercise for sleep

How to reset your sleep schedule

Change your sleep schedule by first working out what time you need to get up. Work backwards by approximately 8 hours to find the time you need to go to sleep ideally.

Now add a little time for your regular bedtime routine, getting undressed, brushing your teeth etc, and this should be your new bedtime.

If this is a lot different to the time you’ve been going to bed, then you may need to work to this new bedtime target in 15-minute increments across several days.

Common Sleep Myths – Fact or Fiction?

Sleep myths – Fact or fiction?

We spend around a third of our lives asleep. When you stop and think about this, it seems crazy that we could spend 25 YEARS unconscious if we live to the grand old age of 75! Say, whaaaaaaaaat.

It’s no surprise then that there are common misconceptions about the subject. Sleep is widely believed to be vital for the restoration and reparation of our bodies and brains, and all creatures do it differently.

See our articles on ‘How to get to sleep fast’ and ‘How to fix your sleep schedule’ for more information about why we sleep, how to sleep better and what to do when you can’t sleep.

We’ve looked at some of the most common and interesting ‘myths’ surrounding the topic of sleeping and have blown the fictions wide open, for you, our esteemed readers. Read on and enjoy.

You need 8 hours of sleep a night on average

More and more research is being conducted into the role of sleep and we know more now than ever, although there are some sleep mysteries that still remain.

The National Sleep Foundation commissioned a study into the optimum number of hours of sleep needed per night, for a range of age groups, and concluded that 7 – 9 hours of sleep was best for adults. Teenagers, newborns and children in general need more than this whilst the recommendation for older adults was 7 – 8 hours.

FACT – 8 hours of sleep a night is a perfect amount of sleep for adults.

8 hours sleep

You eat spiders while you’re asleep

Imagine this – you’re a small house spider looking for a quiet dark corner in which to live. You find yourself in a dark room, perfect, but there are some very large, noisy creatures. What do you do next?

Do you decide to investigate, climb onto one of these monsters faces and enter the hole you find wide open there?!

NO, of course you don’t. You run like hell in the other direction and find another place to hang out. This is a complete myth. Spiders are super sensitive to vibrations and both our heartbeats and breathing would put all species of house spider off approaching us, whilst awake or otherwise.

Not to mention the fact that if you felt 8 hairy little legs creeping over your face, you’d almost certainly wake up.

FICTION – we definitely do NOT eat 4 – 8 spiders a year!

The best time to exercise is at night, before bed

Exercising regularly helps us to maintain a healthy body, keeps our weight at a healthy level and works wonders for our mental wellbeing by releasing endorphins which make us feel happy.

These are all facts and have been scientifically proven by experts globally. The best time to exercise however, is another matter. This will depend on you as an individual, your routine, your work and your eating habits. Some people may find they can only workout before bed. Exercising late at night is still going to be better for you than not exercising at all.

Some sleep studies have suggested that exercising too close to bedtime can raise your body temperature which inhibits melatonin production and can delay you feeling tired and make you struggle to fall asleep. As said, this is personal to us as individuals. I can say for certain that if I went for a run before bed, I would definitely be crawling under the covers afterwards!

FICTION – the best time to exercise can only be determined by you and your schedule.

“Studies have shown that the quality of your sleep when drinking excessively is drastically reduced.”

Alcohol makes you sleep better

Many of us have enjoyed a night out and managed to over-indulge in a drink or two too many.

That feeling when you just need to go to bed after drinking too much has led many people to believe that drinking alcoholic drinks makes you sleep better.

It is true that alcohol depresses your central nervous system and reduces brain activity, making you feel relaxed and lethargic which can help you fall asleep.

However, studies have shown that the quality of your sleep when drinking excessively is drastically reduced. Falling asleep fast when inebriated sends many of straight into a deep sleep, known as REM sleep.

This creates an imbalance between the slow-wave sleep stages which can cause us to sleep fitfully, wake early and struggle to get back to sleep again. Consuming liquids in excess can also keep you up at night, adding to the poor-quality nights sleep.

FICTION – alcohol may make you fall asleep faster, but the quality of that sleep is often poor.

alcohol and sleep

Cheese gives you nightmares

This is one we all must have heard before – eating cheese before bed will give you bad dreams. Well, there doesn’t seem to be any conclusive research out there that dairy affects dreaming, however certain studies have made a correlation between cheese and the type of dreams we have.

One particular study was conducted by the British Cheese Board and whilst there was no evidence to suggest that people slept worse after consuming cheese, some did report that different cheeses caused different types of dreams – weird.

The bad reputation of cheese as a nightmare-inducing midnight snack may be due to the amino acids contained within this food item. These proteins help the production of serotonin and melatonin which are those lovely sleep-inducing hormones that help us fall asleep.

Whether this is the reason or not, we suggest that you avoid eating anything, cheese included, too close to bedtime as the process of digesting your food can keep us in a state of wakefulness and affect our ability to fall asleep.

FICTION – eating cheese before bed does not give you nightmares.

Only overweight people get sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition where someone stops and starts breathing whilst they’re asleep. Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between obesity and sleep apnea, although this condition can affect people with a normal BMI.

While being overweight is one of the health conditions that can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea, it is not the only one.

Facial anatomy can also increase your chances of suffering from sleep apnea. Those with large tonsils, large necks and small jaws may be at risk of this condition too.

FICTION – sleep apnea can affect people who aren’t obese.

You only have dreams during REM sleep

Some people dream vividly and some people don’t dream at all. Some of us remember our dreams but others don’t. Dreaming is still a bit of a mystery and psychologists have studied this for years.

The experts have not managed to pinpoint why we dream but can confirm how we dream. Research has concluded that we dream in both REM and non-REM sleep stages.

Scientists say that REM dreams tend to be more vivid and can be more outlandish than those experienced during other sleep stages but that we do dream throughout the night.

FICTION – we dream at all stages of sleep, not just REM.

hot drink can help you sleep

A hot drink can help you to sleep

This is an age-old tale that we probably heard from our grannies – but does a nice warm drink help you get to sleep? Research has proven inconclusive and there is no definitive scientific proof that drinking a hot drink before bed can aid sleep.

However, there are elements to this ‘myth’ that may be true. Drinks such as chamomile tea and warm milk are often associated with making you feel sleepy. Let’s look at each individually.

Milk contains that lovely amino acid, tryptophan, which helps us produce our wonderful sleep hormones. This could be why drinking warm milky drinks before bed can induce feelings of relaxation. Chamomile has long been known for its health benefits and has been linked as a remedy to all kinds of ailments including diabetes, anxiety and for relieving menstrual pain.

One study claimed that chamomile acted like a benzodiazepine which is a drug that can induce sleep. Again there is no conclusive proof but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a super helpful flower.

FACT & FICTION – a hot drink doesn’t necessarily send you straight to sleep but a warm glass of milk before bed may help you to feel tired.

what-is-melatonin

What is melatonin?

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a natural hormone created by our body, is it our ‘sleep hormone’. It’s what makes you feel sleepy in the evening & keeps you asleep through the night.

It is a very important hormone as it promotes longevity, immune health & well-being due to sleep being a contributing factor to good mental health.

what-is-melatonin

What does melatonin do?

When the sun starts to set the brain receives information from the eyes that it is dark. This information is passed through the optic nerve form the eye into the pineal gland, this is when melatonin production begins.

Humans in a modern society surrounded by technology & screens have not been able to adapt to these ‘new’ additions. Seeing blue light in the evenings after sunset can completely disrupt & reduce the amount of melatonin we produce naturally, meaning less optimised sleep.

Things that impact natural melatonin production negatively

• Blue light
• Looking at screens after sunset
• Light sleeping environment
• Eating too close to bedtime
• Having wifi on too close to your bed
• Drinking caffeine after 1pm
• Stress
• Alcohol consumption

things-that-negatively-impact-sleep

How to increase melatonin naturally

Blue light blocking glasses
• Dark bedroom (or sleep mask)
• Cool bedroom
• Getting natural sunlight in the daytime
• Eating tryptophan rich foods
• Exercise regularly
Meditation

positive for sleep

How does blue light affect melatonin production?

Blue light is both good & bad for sleep depending on how & when you absorb blue light. This is because the timing dictates how it affects melatonin production in humans at nighttime.

Going for walks in daylight, especially in direct sunlight is great for the production of melatonin in the evening time.

The reason for this is the blue light from the sun can help regulate the human body clock, meaning that it’ll reset to stay more awake in the day and then become tired after sunset.

So getting daylight from going on a walk every day, can help your body know when it’s the right time to produce melatonin.

sunlight-for-sleep

Science has shown that blue light absorption in the evenings, as shown in this study, can be detrimental to sleep as it can suppress the body’s natural melatonin production.

The main place humans absorb blue light after sunset in todays world, is from screens. This is becoming a large problem across modern society.

With this suppression of melatonin, it is harder for people to get to sleep & their sleep quality is reduced significantly. This is why there it is more common for people to be using blue light blocking glasses in the evenings, that block out more than 90% of blue light.

The reason for wearing these is to help optimise & increase your natural production of melatonin, by blocking out blue light in the evenings.

Therefore, blue light shouldn’t always be seen as ‘bad light’, because if you receive natural blue light in the daytime it can be beneficial for you.

Caffeine and sleep

Drinking caffeine in the afternoon or evening can affect sleep negatively because it is a stimulant that has a 5 hour half life. That means that means that after 10 hours there can still be some caffeine left in the body after consumption.

The reason that this is bad is because caffeine works on the adrenal glands, which make you feel alert. The problem with this is, it can delay the onset of the production of melatonin.

When you’re trying to sleep you need the complete opposite feelings, like feeling relaxed. Caffeine can increase onset time to sleep by inhibiting the production of melatonin.

Because of this, it can also reduce the quality of sleep & and the total time asleep. Reducing your total sleep time over a long period could result in some negative health side effects.

How does alcohol affect sleep?

Contrary to what some people used to believe, alcohol does not help with sleep in any way. It has been used over the years to ‘help’ people fall asleep, as it is a sedative & can make you feel sleepy.

The truth is, when alcohol is in your system and you go to sleep, you aren’t really sleeping properly.

alcohol-sleep

What’s happening is that the body has been sedated, it is not repairing & recovering through the different sleep cycles. There is a complete reduction in melatonin production in the body, hence why your body doesn’t go through all the sleep cycles properly.

A study showed how different levels of alcohol affected sleep. The results were as follows:

Low amounts of alcohol decreased sleep quality by 9.3%

(less than 2 drinks for men / less than 1 drink for women)

Moderate amounts of alcohol decreased sleep quality by 24%

(approximately 2 drinks for men / 1 drink for women)

High amounts of alcohol decreased sleep quality by 39.2%

(more than 2 drinks for men / more than 1 drink for women)

Now as you can see from these stats from the study, the effects of alcohol are very drastic on sleep markers.

Even just one alcoholic drink can disrupt sleep quality by nearly 10%. This is a huge number if you were to use alcohol before sleep for prolonged periods.

Meditation to fall asleep

Meditation has been proven to help with sleep, as it can help improve the amount of melatonin serum in your blood as shown in this study.

This could be due to the relaxed harmony between mind & body. We know that stress can cause us to have worse quality sleep, so it makes sense that meditation may be able to improve sleep markers.

It appears that meditation can be used to battle insomnia, as this study shows that mindfulness meditation could be a viable treatment. One important thing to note is that meditation is a skill that takes a lot of practice.

Once you have gained knowledge and experience practicing meditating, the potential to alleviate insomnia & improve sleep quality is something to really consider for your health & wellbeing.

What foods contain melatonin?

When looking for foods that contain melatonin, you can also look for is foods contain tryptophan. It’s a precursor to melatonin production, meaning it is the building blocks to the sleep hormone. The following foods contain melatonin:

• Pistachios
• Fatty Fish
• Rice
• Bananas
• Goji Berries
• Oats
• Mushrooms
• Corn
• Tart Cherries
• Eggs

banana for sleep

Can you supplement with melatonin?

In the US you can buy melatonin over the counter in any store, but in the UK is has to be prescribed by a doctor. 

But when taking any new supplement or drug, you should always speak to a medical professional or doctor first, even if you can buy the products over the counter.

Why is melatonin banned in the UK

Melatonin is not banned in the UK. It is actually legal to use within the UK & is deemed safe, it just has to be prescribed. 

The reasons for this is that the long term effects of melatonin supplementation has not been studied.

The worry is that using melatonin consistently for years may decrease your natural production, which in theory could cause some health problems. 

The current advice is to use melatonin supplementation for short periods of time, only for when you’re having sleep issues.

Benefits of melatonin

If you do get melatonin prescribed, some of the benefits include:

• Sleep wake cycles regulation
• Jetlag help – reset your clock
• For delayed sleep wake phase disorder
• Promote eye health
• Antioxidant
• Potential Anti-inflammatory

Sleep wake cycles that are slightly out of pattern can be potentially reset by taking melatonin.

This is why melatonin is used for jetlag to try and get the body to re-adjust to the time zone by taking melatonin at nighttime.

It can essentially help your body readjust to its surroundings, as humans are not adapted to moving time zones so quickly, through plane travel.

It is noted that melatonin can promote eye health, have anti-inflammatory properties & is able to reduce free radical damage.

If you do not want to take medication, you should maybe consider these melatonin alternatives.

is-there-an-alternative-to-melatonin

Is there an alternative to melatonin?

Is there an alternative to melatonin?

Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone that it produced within the body at nighttime, it can also be taken exogenously as a supplement. Melatonin cannot be bought over the counter in the UK. 

This is due to some long-term safety concerns, in thinking that by taking it you could deplete your own body’s natural production of melatonin. This theoretically could end up disrupting your sleep over time if it were to be true, there is no evidence to support this theory though as it is deemed to be safe to take.

Do doctors prescribe melatonin?

Yes, doctors do prescribe melatonin in the UK, but they often try to work out if there are other ways to help your sleep without turning to melatonin.

That’s why people often search; is there an alternative to melatonin?

Yes, there are alternatives available that can help your natural production of melatonin. some of these can improve your sleep markers. There are also natural sleep aids available that can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer & get deeper sleep.

Natural sleep aids uk

Below are a selection of different natural sleep aids uk that can help you optimise your sleep. Some are supplements, some are tips & techniques that can help you boost your own melatonin naturally, to save you from having to supplement with it. These are deemed more natural alternatives.

natural-sleep-aids-uk

Magnesium glycinate uk

Magnesium glycinate uk is a popular & well tolerated type of magnesium, it is a good alternative to melatonin that can be used before you go to bed. It is very good at reducing the stress hormone ‘cortisol’, which if high at night it can disrupt sleep dramatically.

Magnesium glycinate is often added into help with recovery from athletic performances, because of these cortisol reduction effects.

magnesium-glycinate-uk-melatonin-alternative

Magnesium glycinate also binds to the GABA receptor in the brain, this helps slow your brain activity down so that you can relax. Being able to unwind is an issue for some individuals, so implementing magnesium glycinate into your nighttime regime might be beneficial for those people.

Doses tend to be around 400-500mg for magnesium glycinate. Always speak to your doctor first before taking any supplements.

You can find out more details about the mechanism of magnesium for sleep here.

L-theanine sleep

L-theanine is very commonly used along side magnesium for sleep purposes, it is often seen stacked against other natural supplements as it has a calming affect. When used in the mornings along side coffee, it can reduce caffeine anxiety & calm the ‘jitters’.

When L-theanine is used in a nighttime setting, it is good to take it around 30 minutes before your intend to go to sleep.

L-theanine works by slowing down/blocking the production of excitatory neurotransmitters, these can often keep you awake by increasing your brain activity.

alpha-brainwaves-l-theanine

It is known enhance alpha brain waves. These alpha brain waves are known to be produced when you’re feeling calm & relaxed.

When you’re lying down relaxing before you go to sleep, you’ll be starting to produce these alpha brain waves. Being able to enhance the alpha brain waves can promote even more relaxation, which in turn can promote a faster onset of sleep.

A good dose for sleep is said to be between 200-300mg per day.

5HTP sleep

5HTP is comes from the substance L-tryptophan, which is the sole precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is the precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin, which is why 5HTP is seen as a melatonin free sleep aid, as it helps you naturally produce the hormone through other means.

Other effects of 5HTP are noted to be a mood enhancement & also have potential to help depressive symptoms, due to it being the precursor to serotonin.

There needs to be more studies on this matter as the evidence in inconclusive for these hypothesis as stated in this study.

Best time to take 5HTP as melatonin alternative

The best time to take 5HTP for sleep would be 30-45 minutes before bedtime, with a dose of around 200mg.

Do not take 5HTP if you’re currently taking SSRI medication & always speak to a doctor before taking any new supplements.

5htp-sleep-melatonin

Glycine for sleep

Glycine is an amino acid that is also a neurotransmitter that the human body creates from biochemical compounds. Glycine can be consumed through a lot of meats, fish & eggs.

It can help you fall asleep more quickly, as it can be an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This means that it can reduce neuron firing within the brain, which makes your brain is less active so that you can fall asleep.

Glycine can help lower the body’s core temperature, which as we know having a lower body temperature can increase the production of melatonin & improve your sleep quality, as shown by this study. You can read more on how to get to sleep fast here.

glycine-for-sleep

When to take glycine

For sleep, you should look to take 3-5g about 30-45 minutes before your bedtime. That way it has enough time to be absorbed by the body, so that it can help you fall asleep faster once you go to bed. As always, speak to your doctor every time you’re considering adding a new supplements to your regime.

When to take holy basil for sleep

Holy basil has been around for thousands of years, it has been used in Indian medicine for an array of conditions. Holy basil is considered to be good for the body, mind & spirit.

This holy herb has been noted anecdotally to potentially reduce anxiety in some individuals & improve. In this study it was said that sleep problems & feelings of fatigue reduced, this it thought to have been due to the reduced stress levels of participants.

when-to-take-holy-basil-for-sleep

Holy Basil for high cortisol

There’s still a lot more research needed to be done on this plant, but it could be useful for some individuals due to its potential cortisol reducing effects.

We know that sometimes when we have high cortisol, it can really disrupt sleep. This is why holy basil is being used more often for sleep issues & anxiety issues caused by high cortisol.

Holy basil dose

One study showed that taking 500mg of holy basil made people feel less anxious, stressed & depressed.

But doses range from 300mg-2000mg & for sleep it would be beneficial to take holy basil 30 minutes before you go to bed.

As always, its best to speak to your doctor before taking any new supplements or medications.

Best blue light blocking glasses for sleep

Blue light blocking glasses are a recent revelation & have been implemented into people’s nighttime routines to improve overall sleep quality.

These red lens glasses are a melatonin alternative because of the mechanism of blocking out blue light, it means that the human body will naturally upregulate and produce more melatonin naturally, which improves sleep.

This is important in modern day lifestyles because humans are surrounded by screens that emit blue light, which is sleep disrupting when absorbed in the evening. Humans were not designed to see blue light after sunset, but with the rapid introduction of technology & screens humans haven’t had time to adapt to this excess exposure.

Noted in this study, adding blue light blocking glasses to your routine can improve your onset time to sleep & sleep quality, due to the increase in melatonin serum in the body when worn 3 hours prior to sleep.

Best eye mask for sleeping

Darkness is essential for natural melatonin production to be at its most optimal levels. In todays society, it can sometimes be extremely hard to have a sleep environment that is completely dark.

Sleep masks help trick your brain into thinking it’s completely dark, even when its not. This is a good way of being able to increase your natural production of melatonin throughout the night, meaning that you can improve your sleep quality.

Sleep masks are seen as another melatonin alternative. It’s no surprise that as people become more health conscious & want to take care of their wellbeing, they are implementing sleep masks into their daily sleep routine habbits.

magnesium-glycinate-uk-melatonin-alternative

Does magnesium help you sleep?

Does magnesium help you sleep?

In the modern world that we live in, sleep is becoming harder & harder to master. Getting more than your recommended 7 hours of shut eye can be tough for a lot of people.

People are always looking for melatonin alternatives & that’s why we’re often asked, does magnesium help you sleep?

The answer is YES, sort of. The thing is, it depends on a few factors that you need to consider.

magnesium-sleep

Best magnesium for sleep

There are many different types of magnesium, people often just run out to their local supplement shop and just buy any magnesium without realising that they all have different properties.
The different types of magnesium are:

  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium lactate
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium taurate
  • Magnesium threonate
  • Magnesium sulphate
This is why it can get really confusing when buying magnesium. You’ll be wondering;

Which is the best magnesium for sleep?


Our choice is
Magnesium Glycinate.

Magnesium Glycinate has a higher bio-availability compared to other compounds like magnesium oxide or chloride, meaning that it is more easily absorbed by the body.

This glycinate version of magnesium is also tolerated well by humans, as some types can make people have diarrhea or feel unwell in general. Be warned, taking too much magnesium can resort in upsetting your body’s natural zinc, copper & calcium balance.

best-magnesium-for-sleep

Why is zinc and magnesium good for you?

Zinc & Magnesium are elements that are needed by the body to function optimally, for different purposes. Zinc is used by the body for things like wound healing, growth & development, immune function & protein synthesis.

Magnesium is the second biggest human deficiency behind vitamin D, meaning that a lot of us have to supplement it so that our body can work properly.

Once magnesium is absorbed by the body it has many benefits that include:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Bone health
  • Reduced symptoms of PMS
  • Athletic recovery
  • Better sleep

Magnesium glycinate doses are often seen around 400-500mg, with zinc daily dosing often around 15-50mg.

You should always speak with your doctor when trying any new supplements.

How does magnesium help with sleep?

Magnesium can help with your sleep optimisation in several different ways, one way is that it can help reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is the bodies ‘stress’ hormone, this can keep you awake at night as it can affect anxiety levels.

If you have too much cortisol in your body at night it can increase your heart rate & body temperature. For the best sleep, it has been proven that your body temperature needs to lower at night to induce sleep, that’s why sleeping in a cold room helps you get better sleep. You can read more about how to get better sleep here.

cold-bedroom-for-sleep

Cortisol levels can increase by having caffeine, work stress or if you’ve been exercising really hard without enough recovery. Supplementing magnesium can reduce cortisol levels, which in turn can improve sleep.

Another way in which magnesium can help with sleep, is that it can promote relaxation. It does this by binding to the GABA receptors, which in turn stimulates the natural production of GABA in the brain.

mafgnesium-and-cortisol

This slows down our brain activity so that we can feel relaxed, with less brain messages firing.

Sometimes when you’ve got outside stresses going on in your life, these stresses can impact your sleep, wake you up in the middle of the night & also stop you from getting back to sleep.

What is sometimes happening in this instance is something called a catecholamine dump.

catecholamine-dump

This is when your body is failing to deal with neurotransmitter clearance, for things such as dopamine. More specifically it’s the enzyme COMT (catechol-O-methyl transferase) which manages the neurotransmitter clearance, but it is being slowed.

If this process is slowed, the brain cannot clear dopamine which means that you are more likely to wake up. COMT needs magnesium to function properly, to clear out these neurotransmitters which will help keep you asleep in your sleep cycle.

Types of magnesium administration

There are several ways in which people like to use magnesium, the main one being supplementing with capsules, as you can get an accurate dosing. This is often one of the cheaper methods to use.

Another method is magnesium spray for sleep, this is to make it super quick and convenient to get your daily dosing amount while running a busy schedule. It is a very similar process to capsules, but it is often quicker.

magnesium-spray-for-sleep

You can also buy magnesium creams or lotions, they are to be rubbed into your skin as a moisturiser. The skin is good for absorbing magnesium, but the only issue is you can’t specify a certain dose.

The final way is using Epsom salts in your bath, these contain magnesium & can be broken down and absorbed into your skin while you’re bathing yourself. These can be very relaxing, but it’s also hard to get an exact dosing.

What are gaming glasses?

Gaming glasses uk

What are gaming glasses & why are they being recognised as an important necessity for gamers? Let me give you a quick background to the reason why, before we get into the smaller details. 

The gaming industry has grown dramatically over the last 15 years. The market size is currently said to be worth around 174 billion dollars & is expected to reach around 315 billion dollars by 2027 according to Mordor Intelligence.

This is partly due to the growth in new technologies, and also as of recently projects like the metaverse coming into our lives soon, which will really push the gaming industry even further.

It is estimated that there are over 3 billion gamers in the world, this can range from hardcore gamers on PC, or the ages 60+ indulging in some candy crush on their phone or tablet. One thing that they all have in common though, is that they’re all staring at screens.

This is why recently there has been an uptake in people wearing gaming glasses uk, or more specifically blue light blocking glasses to help protect their eyes from screens.

"Nearly 70% of US adults experience digital eye strain as a result of increasing use of digital devices” – The Vision Council.

Do screens damage your eyes?

The Vision Council in the US have previously stated that “Nearly 70% of US adults experience digital eye strain as a result of increasing use of digital devices”, we imagine that to be similar numbers in the UK due to the similarities that we share in lifestyles.

Short term side effects

There’s also short term side effects of too much blue light which include:

• Eye strain
• Headaches
• Blurred vision
• Dry eyes

Now these don’t sound too scary, but if they keep happening every once or twice a week it could really start to impact your wellbeing negatively. What about long term side effects?

Potential long term side effects of blue light digital devices

Now, the current research into screens and long term eye damage is still ongoing, but current studies suggest that blue light from screens may increase the risk of macular degeneration, a disease of the retina.

Animal studies have shown that from a few minutes, up until many hours of blue light exposure may be harmful, especially if exposed  to it continuously over time.

If you’re an avid gamer, you’ll potentially be at a higher risk of the side effects of screens. This is why people are now becoming more conscious about their health, and are now investing in blue light blocking glasses / gaming glasses uk.

do screens damage your eyes?

What are gaming glasses?

Gaming glasses are used to block out and reflect harmful blue light from screens, while spending multiple hours gaming on a computer or phone device.

Most clear lens gaming glasses from reputable sources block out & reflect between 20-40% of blue light, to help your eyes feel sharp & have reduced fatigue while gaming.

Do gaming glasses help with headaches?

Yes, they do help with headaches in many individuals. Due to the blue light blocking & reflective nature of most gaming glasses, they are known for reducing headaches & eye strain.

They are used as a tool by gamers to increase gaming sessions length & quality. With tired, sore & fatigued eyes it becomes a lot harder to compete effectively.

These are the typical gamer glasses as they’re great to use if you’re looking at a screen for more than 2-3 hours, as the blue light can be quite taxing on your eyes.

You can also find out on why people wear blue light glasses for health & sleep benefits here.

Many gamers & streamers can often be looking at screens for 4 hours or more, which would make these clear lens gaming glasses effective at reducing eye strain & headaches while competing at any level.

These clear lenses are great as you have protection without your gaming vision being compromised, as these lenses are clear for fast paced gaming which is typically what most gamers need.

Red lens blue light glasses

There are another type of blue light blocking glasses that are also gaming glasses, these have red lenses.

These block out & reflect up to 98% of blue & green light, meaning that they give a high level of protection. These are best used for slower paced gaming like on strategy games or board style games.

These are mainly used in evenings to try and help you wind down after a heavy gaming session, to help protect your eyes from blue light to help prepare you for when you go to bed. If you do sometimes have trouble falling to sleep after gaming, wearing these two hours before your bedtime can help improve sleep onset times.

What are the best gaming glasses?

The best gaming glasses are said to be ones that block out around 40% of blue light & are lightweight & thin to fit under your headphones. Many glasses are made quite bulky and can be irritating & distracting to the ear while playing with over the ear headphones.

ZLEEPY® offer a 2 pack of Blue Light Gaming Glasses, where you will receive both types of lenses, the clear lens that block out and reflect up to 40% of blue light & the red lens glasses for evening wear, on those slower paced games before bed that block out 98% of blue & green light, which in turn can help with sleep.

ZLEEPY® Glasses have been designed to be thin, lightweight & comfortable to fit under headphones with ease.

Conclusion

We believe that gaming can be played healthily, as it is social and can be good for people’s mental health. What we would say is being more conscious of your eye health & health in general could give you some positive benefits.

Our tips to help with your gaming health:

  • Take a break away from your screen every 30-60 minutes
  • Reduce late night time playing, as blue light exposure at night can disrupt sleep.
  • Use blue light blocking glasses to reduce blue light exposure.
Don’t just completely cut out gaming just because of blue light, it may have some positive benefits for your lifestyle, like helping you to relax and unwind by yourself or while you’re with friends. 

How to get to sleep fast

How to get to sleep fast

Our daily lives move at an ever-increasing pace and for many of us, being able to switch our brains off to sleep is becoming harder and harder. When there is so much sensory information to take in every minute of every day, it’s no wonder getting to sleep can prove illusive at times.

The main function of sleeping is to repair our brains and bodies. When we struggle to fall asleep, or stay asleep, it affects our ability to function in our waking lives. We live our lives through an embodied experience, dependent primarily on the ‘vessel’ we drive. Our daily experiences will differ depending on our gender, age, size – even the way we motivate ourselves is driven by our physical body. When we don’t stop to repair ourselves, we begin to struggle doing the most simple of tasks. Just ask any parent of a newborn baby (or puppy)!

sleep fast

Getting an adequate amount of sleep daily can be overlooked but is absolutely essential to having a healthy brain, body and mind. In fact, many health experts agree that the key to being your most successful self is maintaining a healthy lifestyle which not only includes a healthy diet, but also enough sleep to ensure we are functioning the best we can be during our waking hours.

There are many factors which can affect our ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. Being aware of the tweaks we can make to our daily routines can make a real difference to our ability to fall asleep fast. Read on for our top sleeping tips.

Maintain a healthy diet

Certain foods have been proven to interfere with our ability to sleep soundly, while there are other foods that promote feeling sleepy. There are some experts who suggest foods can even influence our dreams.

I know I have had some crazy dreams after a cheeseboard! Many agree that eating a meal at least 3 hours before you go to bed gives your body enough time to digest without affecting your ability to fall asleep.

Similarly, foods that can help you sleep include carb-rich foods that make you feel lethargic and can be sleep inducing whilst sugary snacks often do the opposite.

Exercise regularly

Whilst not essential to be able to fall asleep, staying active during your waking hours and getting enough exercise daily/weekly can help tire out your body so you yearn for rest which consequently can help you fall asleep faster.

Get enough daylight

Spending some time in the sun during the day can help reset your circadian rhythm, this means that it helps your body stay awake during the day & get sleepy at night time.

Our tips for this would be to try and go on a walk every day, even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes to help your body reset its body clock.

daylight-for-sleep

Routine, routine, routine

Everyone has their own little daily routines – from the way we make tea to the way we dress. Studies have shown that maintaining a regular routine before you go to bed can help prepare you better for sleep.

Try going to bed at a similar time each night, eating your meals around the same time and getting up at a consistent time to best ensure your body and brain know how and when it is time to go to sleep.

Limiting device use and distraction

Try turning your phone to ‘do not disturb’ mode in advance of going to bed. The ability to switch off from distractions will help your brain to focus on the task at hand – falling asleep.

Paying attention to a screen before bed, whilst tiring for your eyes, can also be stimulating as you’re consuming information rapidly.

“Exposing yourself to blue light at night-time inhibits your bodies natural production of melatonin.”

Looking at artificial screens at night-time is exposing yourself to blue light, this inhibits your body’s natural production of melatonin (the body’s sleep hormone), which in turn will increase the amount of time that it takes you to get to sleep.

Give your brain a rest and switch off earlier. You could pick up a book instead, as many find this a way to relax and slowly decompress after a busy day.

You could also add Blue Light Blocking Glasses to your night-time routine to help limit your blue light exposure, increasing your chances of falling asleep faster.

Best temperature for sleep

It has been suggested that warm showers and a cool bedroom can play an important part in getting to sleep fast so keep your window open and your radiator off – this might save you money on your energy bills too. The optimal temperature for sleep is said to be around 18.3°C (65°F). This helps your core body temperature drop, which in turn can increase the onset of sleep time & also increase the amount of deep sleep that you can achieve. For even better results, you might want to keep your socks on! Making sure those little piggies are warm and cosy can be comforting and help aid relaxation before falling asleep.
room temperature sleep

Luckily one of the perks of being surrounded by so much available information is that there are plenty of techniques for us to try to help us attain the coveted and recommended minimum 7 hours of sleep a night. See our favourite tips to get to sleep fast below.

Breathing techniques for sleep

Perhaps the most obvious technique for getting to sleep fast is to try and slow down your breathing. There are a few different breathing exercises you can try. See which one works best for you.

Box breathing technique

The box breathing technique can be used to clear your mind and relax your body and can be done anywhere. Box breathing can help settle your mind and alleviate stress and is not just used as a sleeping technique, it can be helpful in stressful situations or to relieve anxiety.

To try box breathing, close your eyes and breathe in slowly through your nose whilst counting to four. Hold your breath whilst counting to four again and then exhale slowly through your mouth to a count of four. The simple task of counting helps focus your mind and you’ll find, inevitably, your body will follow suit and start to let go of any tension. This exercise can be repeated as many times as needed to help induce calm.


4 7 8 breathing method

Another common breathing technique is the 4 7 8 breathing method. Similar to box breathing, this exercise has a longer hold and exhale count.
First, close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven and slowly exhale whilst counting to eight.

The benefits of the 4 7 8  breathing method is that a longer exhale takes more effort and concentration, thereby helping really focus on your breathing and aiding faster relaxation.

Meditation

Meditation is the practice of clearing your mind to achieve a mentally calm state. Research has shown that meditating before you go to sleep can help leave the stresses of your day behind, help you unwind emotionally and physically and prepare your mind for sleep.

Try sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Close your eyes, slow down your breathing and really concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. Empty your mind of thoughts and focus on your breathing only.

meditation for sleep

You can use soundtracks to help with visualisations which is often used at the end of yoga classes. Remain like this until you feel relaxed enough to fall asleep.

This method might take a lot of time to become competent and experienced with, but once you master the technique you can dramatically improve your sleep.

Sleep Supplements

Certain nutrients have been proven to aid sleep quality. Magnesium is one of the most prevalent minerals in your body and plays a vital role in regulating many of our physiological processes, including energy production and facilitating the restoration of our brain and body. 

Studies show that many of us are lacking in magnesium, however this can be remedied by including more of particular types of foods in our diets, such as certain nuts and seeds, spinach, avocado and salmon.

You can also get magnesium supplements which can be beneficial for aiding sleep when taken alongside a healthy diet. Find out in more detail how magnesium helps with sleep here.

Progressive muscle relaxation

PMR, or progressive muscle relaxation, is a recommended method for helping those with insomnia get to sleep.

Similarly to meditation, it requires you to be in a comfortable position and to clear your mind. You then begin at the top of your body and tense certain body parts for 5 seconds at a time before relaxing them and pausing, then moving on to the next part.

relaxing-sleep

You could start with lifting your eyebrows, then scrunching your nose, smiling widely, stretching your next and so on. The progressive tension followed by relaxation can help relieve tension and aid falling asleep.

Sleep Aids

Whilst a maintain a healthy lifestyle is probably the most effective way to make sure you sleep well consistently, there are certain sleep aids you can try.

Weighted blankets, for example, can help with serotonin production by putting gentle pressure on the body which can help calm our nervous system and aid relaxation. Some studies have show that this can benefit those with insomnia, depression and anxiety also.

Pillow sprays that contain calming extracts, such as lavender, can also help soothe us to sleep.

Other techniques such as playing white noise can help block out distractions that disrupt our ability to fall asleep. This is commonly used to help babies get to sleep and can be soothing for some.

Why should I wear blue light blocking glasses?

Why should I wear blue light blocking glasses?

Why wear blue light blocking glasses? Do they really work?

There are different types of glasses for different purposes, some are to be used in the daytime to filter out and reduce the artificial blue light that you absorb while working at a computer screen.

The other type of blue light blocking glasses are designed to be worn in the evenings, to block out the majority of blue light to help natural melatonin production in the evenings for improved sleep markers.

The evidence so far is in early stages, but exposure to blue light after sunset has been shown to reduce the natural production of melatonin in comparison to individuals wearing blue light blocking glasses (1.)(2.).

Blue light has been shown to effectively inhibit the human body’s natural production of melatonin, the bodies natural sleep hormone.

The production of this hormone is vital for good quality sleep and duration. Essentially, blue light exposure in the evening tricks your body into thinking it is the daytime, which reduces your overall sleep quality as less melatonin is being produced by the body.

The idea is of these glasses is to protect your eyes from blue light after sunset, to help your body produce more melatonin naturally so that you can improve your sleep markers (3.)(4.).

Should I block blue light in the daytime?

If you’re working at a computer screen for more than 3 or 4 hours, you should consider wearing a pair of glasses that reflect and block around 40% of the blue light. These lenses are slightly tinted yellow, but they look clear.

If you’re walking around outside, it is best to get as much blue light exposure as you can through the daytime to your eyes and skin, as it can help improve mood, performance & sleep.

If you suffer from eye fatigue/ strain when working at a computer in general, you should consider buying some of these clear lens glasses.

How do I know which type of glasses to buy?

As with everything, you always want to purchase high quality products as most of the time they are the most effective.

When it comes to blocking blue light in the evening, you want to purchase glasses that have lenses that block up to 98% of blue & green light, as green light is also sleep disruptive. 

Most blue light blocking glasses on the market around the world aren’t created to these specifications, so you need to find a company that has created a lens blocks out most of the blue & green light to help improve sleep (5.).

What percentage of blue light should my glasses block?

Be wary of buying off marketplaces such as ebay & amazon. Many have been tested & have often shown to only block around 50-80% of disruptive blue light.

In conclusion, if you’re using a computer though he day time for more than 3 or 4 hours, you should consider purchasing some glasses that filter out and reflect around 40-60% of blue light to help with eye strain and fatigue.

Everyone should consider looking into wearing red lens up to 98% blue and green light blocking glasses if they’re going to have screens on in the evening, to help stop their natural melatonin production being inhibited.

ZLEEPY® have created a Blue Light Blocking Glasses Duo 2 pack, which contain 2 pairs of high-quality acetate framed daytime & evening pair of glasses. The daytime pair have clear lenses that block out and reflect around 40% of blue light, the evening pair block out up to 98% of blue light, and 99% green light, to help with sleep & eye fatigue. You can see these glasses here.

Add to cart