“There does not seem to be one major organ within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally enhanced by sleep (and detrimentally impaired when we don’t get enough). That we receive such a bounty of health benefits each night should not be surprising,” Matthew Walker in “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams”
We always knew it was important to prepare ourselves for an amazing night’s sleep with comforting silk bedding, pyjamas and eye masks but when we read the amazing new book “Why we sleep : unlocking the power of sleep and dreams” by neuroscientist Matthew Walker, we discovered a whole new world of ground breaking scientific research that helped us create our By Dariia Day Quality Sleep Guide just for you and for your life-long health.
Did you know that sleep is the foundation of health and the literal Fountain of Youth? Humans were not designed by mother nature to loose sleep for any reason. We are the only species on the planet that deprives ourselves from the rest we need on a regular basis and the health consequences on the short and long term are absolutely devastating. Within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorise, and make logical decisions. Sleep recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, regulates our appetite and slows the ageing process making us more beautiful everyday. Physical performance during sports also improves or suffers drastically in line with how many hours of sleep we get. Dreaming is an important way we process life events and make creative connections. When we don’t get at least 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis, we even shorten our lifespan and put ourselves at risk for chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes.
The By Dariia Day Quality Sleep Guide
11 Tips for Perfect Beauty Sleep
1. Schedule sleep as if it was the most important meeting of the day.
It may sound surprising, but Dr. Walker makes it clear in his book that is it impossible to catch up on missed sleep, by sleeping more on the weekends for example. We need at least 7-8 hours of sleep every single night to function at optimal levels in all areas of our lives. Some people even need more sleep per night.
2. Break the superhuman myth.
No one is exempt from this biological law: we all need 7-8 hours of sleep (or more!) per night. Some claim to be fine after less than 6 hours of sleep, but Dr. Walker refutes this belief with rigorous scientific testing proving that people who are “underslept” have reduced cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities. It is also a myth that people need less sleep per night as they age. The truth is that older people need just as much sleep but have a harder time getting it. Therefore, they can benefit the most by improving their sleep rituals & hygiene.
3. Establish a bedtime routine.
Get up and go to bed at the same time, based on your own pre-set rhythm of whether or not you are a night owl or a morning lark. We are all different in this regard and can’t change what our body naturally wants to do. Avoid staying up late a few times a week, it is hard on the body and is like having jet lag.
4. Reduce light. Prepare the body for sleep by dimming the lights in your house by 50% and turning off screens one hour before bed. Do not read from your cell phone or iPad before bed as it blocks melatonin production and makes it hard to fall and stay asleep. Use a traditional alarm clock so you can leave your cell phone in another room.
5. Know the truth about caffeine. Caffeine works by blocking Adenosine, the hormone that builds up in the body during the course of the day, causing sleepiness when receptors are full at night. Caffeine needs 14 hours to be cleared from your system, so if you drink a coffee after lunch, about 1/4 cup remains in your body when it is time for bed. Our bodies are extremely sensitive to caffeine, so if you have any in your system, you risk not being able to fall asleep at the natural time.
6. Avoid Alcohol and get your REM dream sleep. While it may seem that alcohol helps you fall asleep, it just sedates you and actually prevents you from having REM dream sleep, one of the most healing phases of the sleep cycle. Until alcohol is metabolised entirely, you will not be actually sleeping.
7. Darken your sleep environment. Our surroundings while we sleep are extremely important. The bedroom should be free from any light so we suggest using a silk By Dariia Day silk eye mask as well as blackout curtains. Using a red light as a bed side lamp is a good way to make sure no stimulating blue rays reach your eyes before bed. Remember that humans evolved over millions of years to go to bed when night falls and rise with the sun.
8. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. A good quality mattress lasts for about 9 or 10 years so make sure yours has not exceeded its lifespan. Have comfortable pillows and sheets. Pure silk pillowcases and bed sheets are the best type because they regulate temperature, wick moisture and soothe the senses. At first cool to the touch, silk immediately adapts to the temperature of your body and is never too cold or too hot. Silk also wicks moisture away from your skin which helps you stay comfortable throughout the night. It has a smooth, soft, and gentle feeling on your face, hair and body which helps to calm and soothe your senses so that you can relax and fall asleep easily.
9. Reduce bedroom noise and distractions. Your bedroom should be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Rid your room of noises and distractions. This includes a partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using ear plugs, white noise machines, humidifiers, or fans. Again, it’s important to leave your distracting cell phone in another room.
10. Cooler temperature induces sleep.
Our surroundings while we sleep are extremely important. The bedroom should be free from any light so we suggest using a silk By Dariia Day silk eye mask as well as blackout curtains. Using a red light as a bed side lamp is a good way to make sure no stimulating blue rays reach your eyes before bed. Remember that humans evolved over millions of years to go to bed when night falls and rise with the sun.
11. If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. It is best to take work materials, phones, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine.
Written by Kassandra Frua De Angeli