Sleep it's something every single person on the planet has in common. It's also one of those things that at some point in our life we all have an issue with.
If you don't get enough sleep you are more prone to obesity, early onset diabetes, cardiovascular disease, decreased immune response and early mortality.
So what is sleep and what do we know about it so far?
The science of sleep is still something that is yet to be fully explored. We know there are two types of sleep. Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
NREM sleep is divided into stages 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each stage has differing characteristics including changes in brain wave activity, eye movements, and muscle tone.
REM sleep is when we dream and our muscle tone relaxes. It’s also associated with memory consolidation, tissue repair, regeneration of neurotransmitters and a number of other bodily processes involved in recovery.
Generally speaking the higher quantity of REM sleep we have the more rested we will feel.
Here are some research backed tools we use to help you rest well and get the right quality of sleep.
Tools and Tricks to Sleep Through the Night
We've all experienced the horror of trying to go to sleep when a majority of things are circulating in our head but this what you need to do to hit the bed with your eyes shut tight.
1. 90 minutes before bed - play Tetris
You read that right. Play Tetris.
This is known as "visual overwriting" this can help overwrite negative visualisation, which has seen to have applications in addiction disorders, preventing PTSD and most importantly for us, onset insomnia.
This was researched by Dr. Jane McGonigal who claims the highly visual nature of the game occupies the visual processing centre of the brain so that you can't imagine or obsess over those issues that have plagued your day.
The free version to download and use on your phone works perfectly.
2. 60 minutes before bed - turn off all devices that can deliver notifications, messages or alerts
It probably won't come as shock to many of you that your cellphone, laptop and tablet are preventing you from sleeping.
Using cell phones in bed, interferes with the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Functionally, cellular phone use shortly before bed has been linked to a number of negative outcomes. The worst being tiredness the next day.
So it's time to turn off all of your gadgets every evening if you want to sleep better that evening.
3. 30 minutes before bed - eat a low GI meal
You've had the perfect sleep but woken up and ask yourself "Why am I still tired?!"
The reason is likely to be low blood sugar. Try having two tablespoons of organic peanut butter with celery or carrot sticks before bed.
Don't substitute with other peanut butter as some contain sugar which is going to cause a jump in your insulin and preventing you from dozing off properly.
4. 10 minutes before bed - the tranquilizer tea
We haven't found a plausible mechanism for this but it's worked extremely well for us. This is a tip from the late Seth Roberts Professor of Psychology at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
This knocks me out every time:
Grab 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of Go Healthy Manuka honey ( lower GI compared to normal honey so you don't get sugar spike) and stir into one cup of hot water.
If you just want a pre made mixture that is a one stop shop come in store and try our Artemis Deep Sleep tea.
If you use these four tools they can guarantee you a better start to your morning. If you want to see our tips on waking up and performing your best physiologically you can find them here.
Stay healthy Dunedin,
The antidote team