At TLB we are obsessed with getting enough sleep. To us there is nothing better than waking up in the morning feeling totally revitalised with all the energy that you need in order to face the day. So we wanted to share with you all of our hints and tips on how to get your best night’s sleep yet. But it all starts with your circadian rhythm.
What is a circadian rhythm?
In a nutshell, your circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle which repeats every 24 hours, although this will vary slightly between individuals.
Your circadian rhythm is controlled by your hypothalamus (a portion of your brain) along with external factors such as the darkness of night time and the light of morning. When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to wind down. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which governs the sleep/wake cycle and allows you to fall asleep.
If you can get into your natural circadian rhythm, it will allow you to go through the different stages of sleep such as deep sleep and then on to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Deep sleep is crucial for cell repair (including broken DNA), hormonal regulation, and growth, while REM sleep is believed to benefit learning, memory, and mood.
How can I tell if I am getting enough sleep?
We love the test developed by the late Dr Nathaniel Kleitman, to test how sleep deprived we are:
- Lie down in a quiet, darkened room in the early afternoon holding a spoon in your hand over the edge of the bed
- Place a metal tray on the floor by your bed, check the time, then close your eyes.
- When you fall asleep, you will drop the spoon onto the metal tray which will (should) wake you up.
- Immediately check the time to see how long it took you to fall asleep.
If you fall asleep within five minutes you are most likely severely sleep deprived and falling asleep within ten minutes indicates that you are not regularly getting a good night’s sleep. So, how to get that good night’s sleep…
Wind down routine
We don’t mean to brag, but our founder, Chloe, manages to get 9 hours a night! So here’s how to do it. Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits. This means going to bed and waking up in the morning around the same times each day- and yes, that includes weekends.
- Switch off your phone and keep it in another room 2 hours before sleep. While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully. If you use your phone as an alarm, put it on aeroplane mode.
- Don’t overlook things like decluttering your bedroom—it helps you to relax if the space around you is calm and organised. Think Marie Kondo
- Have a warm bath 60-90 minutes before bed. When you get out of the warm water your body temperature drops, mimicking the temperature change you experience when falling asleep.
- Light a candle while you are in the bath and take same candle to bed with you – this will help carry feelings of relaxation from the bath to the bedroom. We are obsessed with Ode to the Wild’s candles as they are made from the highest quality essential oils https://www.odetothewild.co.uk/product-page/silent-night-candle p.s. don’t forget to blow it out.
- Once you are in bed, do a full body scan starting from your feet upwards to check where you might be holding onto any tension. Once you’ve identified an area, spend a moment focusing on relaxing that area with deep breathing.
If you find that there are things that keep popping into your mind to worry you, scribble them down on a pad and make a mental note to only worry about them morning.
- For the ultimate slumber, take 2-3 drops of CBD sublingually and hold it under your tongue for 1 minute before swallowing.
Taking it a step further
If you have had a particularly stressful day, try going for a walk and getting some fresh air to clear your mind. A ten-minute walk in the evening technology free can help unwind and exhale out ant stresses of the day. Let us know how you get on!