Sleep is critical to our mental and physical health, but many still struggle to get anywhere near the desired eight hours sleep per night.
With more distractions than ever before, catching those z's is easier said than done. And even when we are asleep, it's not always the best quality of rest.
Sleep comes easier to some than to others. We've all got that annoying mate who can fall asleep just about anywhere whilst we find ourselves staring at the ceiling for hours, mentally counting down the minutes until the alarm goes off.
So, how can we get a better night's sleep? Let's look at some tips and tricks we've picked up over the years for improving sleep.
Your Daily Routine
As the word "routine" suggests, having a structure in place is the first step towards a restful kip!
By going to bed at around the same time (even on your days off) you can train your brain and body to know when it's time to rest.
You should look to avoid sugary food at night as this will raise your blood sugar. You should also ditch caffeinated beverages several hours before bedtime, as caffeine can actually stay in your system for several hours.
Your bedtime routine might not look exactly like the next person's but as long as it's consistent and you opt for more restful activities like reading rather than scrolling on social media before you go to sleep, you will start to feel the benefits pretty quickly.
We've touched on this already, but let's take a closer look at how our diets can impact sleep. You know to avoid sugar and caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime, but what kind of food can actually help you sleep better?
Nuts: Is there anything nuts and seeds can't do? These superfoods can boost brain function, improve workout performance and even help with better sleep. Almonds, in particular, contain melatonin, as well as magnesium and zinc, which all work together to foster better sleep.
Bananas: Another affordable addition to any diet, bananas contain magnesium, which helps to relax the muscles.
Fish: In particular, oily fish is jam-packed with vitamin B5, which encourages the body's production of melatonin. The magic combination of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids also help in serotonin production, a mood hormone that heavily impacts sleep.
Maintaining a balanced diet is one thing, but ensuring you're always eating the exact right amount of each vital nutrient is not easy. By adding daily supplements to your diet, you can make sure you are always hitting the targets for those super essential vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin B12 is one of the most important supplements for anyone, especially if you don't eat meat or dairy. There are lots of benefits of vitamin B12 as it's critical to healthy brain development. However, did you know that it also plays a role in melatonin production?
Folic acid is another easy addition to your supplement routine. Often recommended for pregnant women, folic acid can actually benefit a wide range of people, especially those struggling to find restful sleep.
Finally, 5-HTP is a fascinating and powerful supplement. Often used to treat depression and anxiety, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is actually converted into serotonin in the body. Other benefits of 5-HTP include improved mood and even a better appetite!
So, if you want to improve your night's sleep, then it's time to work on your routine, diet, and daily supplements.
Our Made4 Sleep Pack contains B12, folic acid and 5-HTP, find out more here.