Easy ways to better sleep and better health

We all know how it feels when we’ve had a bad night’s sleep – your brain feels like it’s in a fog, you are extra sluggish and you find yourself wanting to reach for that bag of chips even more so than usual. Compound this over a few nights and your mood, ability to concentrate and overall physical wellbeing will start to suffer as well. 

Studies have shown that there’s a direct correlation between sleep and health. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the US, sleep is crucial to the maintenance of healthy brain function and emotional well-being, and is also important to physical health.

The Institute states that “ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke”. And if all that isn’t bad enough, a poor sleep routine also makes you hungrier than usual as it causes the level of hormone ghrelin (which makes you feel hungry) to go up and the level of hormone leptin (which keeps you full) to go down. This means you’ll tend to want to snack more and potentially gain unwanted weight.

If you have been getting less than optimal sleep and finding yourself functioning worse for it, it might be time to relook your lifestyle choices and make some deliberate adjustments. Here are three key areas to help prep you for that good night’s rest:

Make lifestyle changes to improve your sleep 

For starters, try sticking to a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends. This means no late-night Netflix binge-watching on Fridays, and not sleeping in late on Saturday mornings. If you can, avoid long, mid-afternoon naps, too. Keeping to a routine regulates your internal body clock and increases the chances of you falling asleep easily and staying asleep at night.

If you are particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine, avoid having that post-lunch cup of coffee. And while a nightcap might help you fall asleep faster, alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up feeling groggy instead of refreshed. Big or spicy meals too close to bedtime can also wreak havoc on your digestive system and cause discomfort that makes it hard for you to have restful sleep. 

Finally, establish a daily wind-down routine to help ease your body into the right headspace for slumber. As far as possible, avoid using electronics in bed and opt for a calming activity like reading or meditation. Pre-bed stretches such as hugging your knees to your chest or the child’s pose can also help to relax your body further. 

Invest in a good quality mattress 

Sometimes, poor sleep can be attributed to an uncomfortable or unsuitable mattress. If you often wake up feeling tight all over, it might be time to invest in a new, good one. 

Home-grown mattress brand Mysleep, for example, has had 30 years of experience perfecting its foam mattress technology, designed to provide a comfortable sleeping experience. In particular, its five-zone individual pocket spring in all of its mattresses offer a variety of support for different parts of the body to ensure proper spinal alignment. 

For example, in Zone 1 (the head zone), pocket springs provide the optimal support to your head and neck to help prevent aches, while in Zone 2 (the shoulder zone), the mattress is constructed to be softer to allow your shoulders to sink in slightly if you sleep on your side, thus helping to alleviate soreness in the neck and shoulders. 

Additionally, its mattresses use ice silk as the key material, which wick away excess moisture from the body to prevent overheating throughout the night. This means a cooler and fresher sleeping environment, and greater likelihood of sweet slumber.

Get sufficient sleep 

Now that you’ve got that comfy mattress, you’ll want to ensure you get sufficient sleep time. Having significantly less than eight hours of sleep each night over a prolonged period of time may result in those side effects of poor sleep kicking in. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, on average, those aged 18 to 64 need about seven to nine hours of sleep. Singaporeans, unfortunately, have consistently ranked near the top in global surveys for sleep deprivation. In the recent global sleep survey conducted by Phillips, Singaporeans averaged about 6.8 hours of sleep a night on weekdays, and 7.3 hours on weekends in 2020. Only 21 per cent of the 1,000 respondents said they wake up feeling refreshed the following day.

Getting sufficient sleep takes discipline, so you’ll need to make a deliberate decision to prioritise it. Your health will thank you for it in the long run.

Visit and test the mattress at Mysleep Mattress outlets at 26 Boon Lay Way, #01-80 TradeHub 21; 71 Ubi Road 1, #10-39 Oxley BizHub; and 10 Admiralty Street, #05-89 North Link Building. 

For more information, visit https://www.mysleep.sg/.

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