Credit_ Jenny Dimitriadi

Rest like a pro

By Gosia Walawska

Sleep Secrets from a Sleep Connoisseur

Out of all the things to struggle with, imagine sleep being your arch-nemesis. Surely the bar could not be any lower, and yet you cannot successfully do something that you need to survive. Fear not, you are not alone!

Contrary to various studies claiming insomnia affects 30 to 50% of adults, I beg to differ. In my humble opinion (emphasis on humble), it’s more like 90%. Think about it. When was the last time you met someone who was happy with their sleep schedule? I have not, discounting the person boasting about feeling refreshed after a mere four hours of sleep—cue the single raised eyebrow. It seems like everyone is sleeping badly these days. The question is, can anything be done about this?

Having tried everything short of heavy sedation, I have decided to share my tips on how to sleep better. Disclaimer: nothing on the list is the golden standard. Some of them you will discover work well for you, others will not make any noticeable difference in your sleep. However, all of them are backed by science and have been proven to have a positive effect on sleep. So why not try them for yourself?

Sleeping environment: Your Zen Zone. The room you sleep in has a huge effect on your rest. Ideally, it should be quiet, dark, and cold. If you’re stuck in noisy halls or cursed with chatty flatmates, fear not—earplugs, an eye mask, and an open window can work wonders. Just make sure that if this method works too well you try not to sleep through any fire alarms.

The classics: It’s because you are always on that damn phone. Stay clear of your phone an hour before bed, avoid caffeine after 2pm, and exercise regularly. These cannot make your sleep perfect, but they will make it less terrible, and that’s something, right?

Power of the plant: Nature’s gifts. Lavender, whether in a diffuser, or oils, or plant has been shown to improve sleep after consistent use. Other useful plants include chamomile (in a tasty form of tea), and rosemary. You may also want to consider the supplements, especially Vitamin D, iron, and magnesium for your overall well-being. As with any medication, remember to always consult your doctor before you start taking supplements to avoid side effects and allergic reactions.

Stress management: Small solutions for big problems. No surprise here—stress impacts your sleep. While stress management could have an entire article for itself, there are some quick fixes that I’ve found helpful. Embrace regular cold showers, running (even a few minutes count), and meditation. I admit, none of them is particularly pleasant at first, but they have the potential of slowing down your racing mind and letting it relax for a bit. And that is all we need to sleep better.

Overall, there are many simple steps you can take to improve your rest. They won’t instantly fix your sleep struggles, but with consistent effort, the results might just surprise you. Wishing you all the best on your quest for sweet dreams!


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