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Sleep. For some, it may come as naturally as breathing. But for others, it could be a constant game of tug-o-war. When poor sleep quality affects our daily life, we may be tempted to reach out to over-the-counter solutions. Instead of taking the easy way out and heading to a pharmacy, sometimes, all we need is to make a few minor lifestyle adjustments to enjoy better quality sleep.
TikTok’s sleep hack
Has your mum ever told you to keep your feet warm when you go to bed? I believe I'm not the only one who brushed it off as another old wives' tale. It turns out that this old wives’ tale actually has some scientific backing to it.
Recently Dr Jess Andrade went on TikTok advocating how wearing socks can actually help people fall asleep faster. She explains, "Wearing socks makes your feet warm, and this opens up the blood vessels that cools the body down. The body being cool tells the brain that it's time for bed. So actually, people that wear socks tend to fall asleep faster." The video has already garnered 2.6 million views and 47.4k comments. Check it out.
For those of us who have experienced the unenjoyable act of tossing and turning in bed at night, there’s really no harm in giving this sleep hack a try. Get into these super fluffy socks made of premium microfiber, Merino wool socks or slimming ones which, according to Japanese scientists, promises to ease muscle ache while you sleep. It doesn't hurt to try, right?
Foot spa before sleep
Establish a sleep routine such as a warm foot spa before sleep. This affordable foot tub comes with rollers to stimulate acupressure points and ease away the knots on your feet. And because it is collapsible, it doesn't take up much space.
Foot Spa Collapsible Foot Bath, Soaking with Foot Massage rollers, Great for Callus Remover & Foot Care. Tea Tree Oil, Epsom Salt Bath, S$54.95
Coffee, tea or sleep?
We all know that the caffeine in coffee can disrupt a good night’s sleep. Many opt for tea instead. However, tea does contain caffeine, as well. According to Mayo Clinic, a cup of black tea contains 47mg of caffeine, about half the amount in coffee at 96mg. But take note, not all coffee (and tea) are created equal. Caffeine amounts differ based on the coffee beans (or tea leaves) and other factors like the roasting process.
A Starbucks venti Pike Place Roast coffee, for example, contains a whopping 310mg of caffeine. Besides tea, be aware of the cumulative consumption of food and drinks such as chocolates, soda and energy drinks, which contain a substantial amount of the culprit that's keeping you up way past your bedtime. Here's looking at you, coke!
Why not set a cut-off time for consumption of such liquids and snacks? Or adopt a turn-down routine by consuming caffeine-free night-time beverages with ingredients like lavender, chamomile or valerian that are known to relax the mind and body.
Love coffee too much to give it up? Try these full-bodied coffee flavoured dandelion beverages with zero caffeine. This could be the game-changer in your sleep routine.
Prefer teabags? Here's another dandelion beverage option.
Monitor your sleep
Make full use of your handphone features or get yourself a handy fitness watch like the Fitbit and monitor your activity and sleep patterns.
Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, 6+ Days Battery, Midnight Blue/Gold, S$303.44 (was S$378)
Create the best sleep environment
Invest in high-quality cooling pillows and bedsheets
Having the right conditions such as the right temperature, comfortable pillow and bedsheets do wonders for a restful night. Try Tempur’s cooling pillow and bedsheets made of mulberry silk that will lull you into dreamland. Add a spritz of lavender mist for relaxation.
Whether you are staying up way beyond your bedtime due to anxiety, bright room conditions, or noisy neighbours, these sleep aids – from diffuser, aromatherapy oils, Himalayan salt lamp, night sleeping mask, noise-cancelling gadgets to a white noise machine – will work for you.
Sleeping Headset 4.2 Bluetooth Handsfree Sleep Eye Shades Built-in Speakers Microphone Washable, S$20.50
Establish a sleep ritual
First up, start with a warm bath using the Lavender Scented Premium Epsom Bath Salt and hydrate with the Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion infused with the calming scents of lavender and chamomile and ylang-ylang essential oils. Lavender is your best sleeping buddy. Its' aromatherapy oil calms the nervous system by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature. Brain waves also go into a more relaxed state.
Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light, Personalized Sunrise and Sunset, SleepMapper App-Enabled, S$266.64
The app-enabled Philips wake-up lights are clinically proven by physicians in establishing healthy sleep and wake-up routine. According to Philips, it's been proven to enhance your mood in the morning. Wake up happy? Bring it on!
Journal away your worries
Plagued by worries even during bedtime? Establish good sleep hygiene with the help of this 66-day guided journal that will help you enjoy an intentional evening routine before bed.
#1 Wellness Journal for Evening Habits, Daily Journal with Prompts, Guided Journal, Self-Care Journal, S$33.20
Stay positive, learn something
Still can’t sleep, quit tossing and turning in bed. Get up, make good use of that time and learn something new! Explore your creativity and learn new skills with Skillshare or Masterclass. Apparently, the act of making your brain or hands work can tire you out and make you tired. We say, kill two birds with one stone. Don’t let that time be wasted. Pick up a skill tonight!