Whether you sleep well or not, this post on how to get a good night’s sleep will be of interest to you. Sometimes it seems that we sleep well but during the day there are symptoms that may indicate the opposite. In addition, at the end of this post you can take a test to check if your sleep habits are adequate to enjoy a good night’s rest. Counting sheep for those who suffer from insomnia has been shown to be an unhelpful technique, and the effects of sleeping little and badly can be really serious for our health. The list is long: Overweight problems, hair loss, loss of skin elasticity…. Sleep directly influences our ability to retain and learn new information, which can lead to problems with memory, concentration… Anxiety and depression can be caused by lack of sleep and vice versa, people who suffer from these pathologies tend to sleep badly. Sleep is also essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, which protects the body from potentially harmful substances. High blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, circulatory problems… Kidney diseases or type 2 diabetes… In short, stress, worries and the accumulated anxiety of the day are the factors that trigger most sleep-related problems. Sleep well is essential for our brains to recover from these stresses… “Sleep maintains all aspects of the body in one way or another: energy and molecular balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness and mood,” explains Dr. Merrill Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist at the NIH (National Institutes of Health). Recent studies show that about a third of the population suffers from chronic or sporadic sleep-related abnormalities (according to the Estivill Sleep Foundation), and the first effects are visible the next day: Fatigue Moodiness Irritability Anxiety Lack of concentration Relationship problems (especially in children and adolescents). In the 24 hours that a day lasts, the brain requires two moments of sleep: the first goes from 10, 11, 12 at night until 6-7-8 in the morning; the second is a brief need for sleep that we have around 7-8 hours after getting up. This is the siesta. The needs vary according to age; in our post “Sleep Well Live Better” you will find more information. Sleeping well will make us have a better day; and at the same time, having a good day will make us rest better… that’s why lifestyle habits, diet, our ability to disconnect from problems and relax, among others, can provide us with some of the keys to good rest. If you want to be part of this exclusive club of good rest, read on; according to the results of the latest Cigna study, ‘360 Wellbeing Survey 2019: Well and Beyond’, in Spain only 32% of the population considers their quality of rest at night to be excellent or very good. Knowing how to disconnect and relax is fundamental to having a good quality of sleep, but the statistics show us unhealthy sleep habits: One of the most harmful habits for falling asleep is precisely using mobile devices or watching screens before going to sleep, and many people use the latter to fall asleep. Sleeping with television in the background causes us to produce less melatonin during sleep. Melatonin deficiency can lead to insomnia and even depression and could lead to a gradual acceleration of ageing. So how do we prepare for bed? Here are some things that can help you relax: Meditation, listening to relaxing music (check out our Spotify playlist for sleep), white noise or even ASRM (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). 4-7-8 breathing technique (Dr. Andrew Weil), you can find aquí the technique here. Diaphragmatic breathing. Prepare the bedroom with relaxing light and use aromatherapy (lavender, bitter orange, tangerine…). Wear loose-fitting wool, cotton or linen pyjamas that are not too tight. The bedroom should be completely dark and quiet. Maintain a temperature between 18 and 21 degrees and a humidity between 40 and 60% (avoiding the use of heating). In this case, our wool duvets are an incomparable advantage because of their ability to absorb excess humidity and provide a drier and healthier environment, as well as regulating the temperature inside the bed thanks to their great capacity for perspiration so that you are neither hot nor cold. Choosing a comfortable pillow and mattress are also of great importance for a good night’s sleep; in this way we help the body to relax and acquire a correct position. Following regular sleep habits helps our bodies behave like clockwork and makes it easier to induce sleep when it’s time to go to bed. Do you want to know if you have healthy sleep habits? THE TEST I had a light dinner two hours before going to bed. I did not do any physical exercise after 20:00. I have disconnected from my mobile phone and stopped using electronic devices 1 hour before going to bed. I have dimmed the lights at home and in the bedroom. I have disconnected from work and my problems by doing breathing exercises and/or meditation. I have read a book before going to bed. I have played relaxing music and used essential oils in the bedroom. I have worn comfortable and light sleeping clothes made of natural fibres. My mattress, pillow and bedding are comfortable and adapted to my needs. I lie on my left side to aid digestion. If you have answered YES to at least 7 of these questions, congratulations because you are on the right track to enjoying a good night’s sleep (in fact, you may already be enjoying a good night’s sleep). And if you find it hard to follow these tips, remember how important sleep is for our health – happy deep rest!