Have you been told that you have a selective memory, but you genuinely can’t remember certain details? Or you feel as though you have to reread information, but nothing seems to be sinking in? This could be due to not a getting enough shuteye. A recent survey has shown that sleep is critical to the recalibration of our brain cells that are responsible for our learning and memory. A lack of sleep can therefore affect our performance the following day and may even lead to interference with our ability to remember and learn basic information.
However drifting into a long, deep sleep can be easier said than done especially with tomorrow’s to-do list already on your mind. However, there are plenty of ways we can mould our bedtime behaviour to ensure that we get an uninterrupted and restful night’s sleep that will fully prepare us for the day ahead.
If the chill is keeping you awake at night think about sleeping in socks. It has been shown that the extra layer under the duvet can greatly help improve the circulation to your extremities and help prevent you being woken in the night due to the coldIf you’re looking for a lightweight pair of socks opt for Carnation’s Silver Socks (£12, firstaidfast.co.uk) as their silky texture will help you snuggle down under the covers for warm and cosy night’s rest.
Vitamin D is Vital
Although often known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D can also be the key to your night time rituals for a successful sleep. Recent research has shown that those who suffer from a lack of Vitamin D often tend to suffer from an interrupted night’s sleep. You can easily increase the amount of Vitamin D in your diet by eating more oily fish such as salmon, anchovies and mackerels. If you’re still struggling try Vega Vitamins Everyday-D 10mg (from £5.95 www.vegavitamins.co.uk), which is available in a tasty orange spray, or as blackcurrant chewable tablets (100s and 500s).
Turn off the Technology
We may be attached to our phones for most of the day but if we want a restful night’s sleep it is wise to ditch our electrical gadgets before we settle down into bed. Superfood UK nutritionist Shona Wilkinson explains, “Two hours before your proposed bedtime turn off all electrical gadgets such as computers, notebooks and phones as these emit a blue light which confuses the brain and reduces the release of melatonin, the chemical which induces sleepiness.” Try swapping your phone for a book when you crawl into bed and give your brain a chance to wind down and relax before lights out.
Snack Right for Sweet Dreams
Although commonly thought of as a breakfast food, oats are in fact a nutritious way to end the day if you’re struggling to reach dreamland. Nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains, “Surprisingly, your body requires energy to sleep at night as well as to be active during the day. The slow-releasing carbohydrates in oats drip-feed your cells with energy throughout the night, and can stop your blood sugar from falling too low and thus prevent you from regularly waking up. The carbohydrates can also help the amino acid tryptophan to cross into your brain to make melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Try a half-bowl of Nairn’s Gluten-Free Scottish Porridge Oats for supper (RRP £2.00, Sainsbury’s).”
Love the Lavender
Certain smells such as lavender activate the alpha wave activity your brain, which can lead to relaxation and help you sleep soundly. Invest in a natural lavender pillow spray and add a few spritz to your pillow every few days to help create a natural and calming sense of drowsiness as soon as you crawl into bed.