A lot of women have struggles sleeping.
Given the devices and non-stop news cycle, staying awake is very easy. It is also a known fact that women have more difficulty in sleeping than men. While a lot of focus is on healthy diets (Paleo, Keto, etc) or fitness regimens(Zumba, Cross Fit, etc), not many articles are inundating us with sleep revolutions. This such a key variable in weight loss and beautiful skin that some of us just ignore.
Here are a few key tips
- Sleeping surface: More natural is better
Anything that is made from polyester foams should be treated with caution as you don’t want to inhale VoC or any other off-gassing substances after a hard day with your nutrition and workout. A mattress from organic cotton in futon or a natural rubber latex core are good choices.
Given the multiplicity of layers available, research has shown that natural materials are always a better choice. Woolen underlay for sleeping was found to significantly reduce movement during sleep, this was attributed the versatile temperature regulating property of wool
In general, having mattresses that are natural or fully organic aligns well for those keeping similar lifestyle in their diets or habits. The other choice is cotton fillings which is used by about 30% of humanity in India, Japan, Africa, etc.
- Temperature: The warmer you are, the lesser you sleep
The heat is your internal body reading and not the room temperature, though it may be a strong influencer. Dr. Christopher Winter who works exclusively with fitness professionals, says he has never seen a single athlete who does not sleep in a cold room.
Essentially, the core temperature of the body is in a cycle with the sleep-wake rhythm, it falls with the nocturnal sleep phase and increases during the wake phase repeatedly in a 24-hour circadian rhythm.
It is not just being cooler but its also about variations in the temperatures. If you are the type that only relies on data, feast on this research below with 765,000 respondents that plotted night time temperature anomalies.
- Lighting – More is better, but during the day.
The founder of chronobiology indicated that there are a lot of zeitgebers, external cues that impact our internal clock. One of the most important one is light, the strength of luminosity that we absorb and use during the 24 hour cycle.
Easier thing first, you already know that around blue light before sleep is a big no-no. essentially avoid electronic devices at least an hour before sleep and dont leave your smart phone on your night stand as it emits light and waves.
The lesser published view is to the connection between natural lighting during the day to get better sleep in the night. Researchers have confirmed that being in natural light during the waking hours helps one sleep far quicker at night. It also helps reduce sleep disturbances compared to those who had lesser exposure.
Practically, it means get a mid-afternoon walk from your work or at home. Use the weekend to spend more outdoor time unless its frigid. Even having a sun-room to get that natural light will be better than under artificial fluorescent lights.
Besides the above there are other aspect that are more variable depending on your lifestyle and situation. Elements like stress, work or study requirements, neighborhood, social pressures, etc will wildly vary and it’s difficult to provide universal guidance. These are things also sometimes beyond our control.
As long as you start recognizing the need for a better sleep ecosystem, are conscious in some of your decisions and want to multiply your investment in the regimen you have underway- that should get the right outcomes progressed.