Given it’s World Sleep Day today I thought there was no better time to share my top tips which have helped me improve my recent sleep patterns and ultimately get a better night’s sleep.
Now I’ve never been a great sleeper. Even the smallest noise or flash of light can often wake me from my slumber and I’ve always found it tricky sleeping well consistently, particularly since living in London. That’s why I was rather excited when the guys over at Philips Hue got in touch and gifted me a Philips Hue White Ambience Starter Kit, Philips Hue Go and Google Home Mini to try out the new sleep commands and get a better night’s sleep.
The importance of a good night’s sleep should not be underestimated – sleep plays a key role in our overall health, both physical and mental and there’s nothing like a bad night’s sleep to kill your productivity and mood the following day!
Here are 8 ‘tips’ to help you guys sleep better and get more of those all important Z’s in the coming months!
1. Optimise Your Bedroom Environment:
It is widely accepted that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in winding down before bedtime. These factors include temperature, noise, and most importantly lighting.
To optimise your bedroom environment, try to minimise external noise, light and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Black out curtains are great and avoid any harsh lighting fixtures or bright alarm clocks that emit the harshest of light.
This is where Philips Hue comes in extremely handy, making the traditional alarm clock entirely redundant. Philips Hue allows you to set up a routine within the Hue App that will dim the lights gradually before bed and light up gradually to wake you up in the morning, all to the sound of bird song (or another sound of your choosing!) through any speakers. It’s super easy to install, you just connect the Hue Bridge to your Wi-Fi, set up the bulbs on the app and then you’re done.
Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place to be and sleeping well will come naturally!
*Top Tip – Invest in a Google Home Mini to make managing your routine even easier, you can activate and set your alarm all via voice control!
2. Lighting Is Key:
Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed and lighting is crucial when it comes to switching off both physically and mentally. Your bedroom should be a relaxing environment and there’s no better way to kick start the ‘switching off’ process than dimming the lights to set the mood (pun intended!)
Philips Hue is a game changer for setting the mood and with 11 settings from ‘relax’ to ‘read’ and the more adventurous ‘Savanna sunset’ there is a setting to suit everyone and help you unwind after a long day. The Hue Go is very handy, you can charge it up and move around the room depending on how you feel or what you’re up to and is fantastic for late night reading!
I particularly like being able to set up a routine within the app, this could be dimming the lights to the ‘read’ setting at 9pm and then come 10pm the lights gradually dim to off.
*Top Tip – Invest in the starter kit from Philips Hue to make managing your bedroom lighting ultra straightforward.
3. Adopt A Routine:
If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you prepare for bed more efficiently.
Being consistent with your sleep and waking times can aid long-term sleep quality and leave you to be better prepared for the no doubt hectic day ahead.
Since the start of 2019 I’ve been fairly strict with my alarm times, getting up at either 6.00 or 6.30am, no matter what my morning entails. This ensures I always have a good amount of time to wake up properly and enjoy a morning tea or coffee without the dreaded rush.
Philips Hue is great in helping maintain a consistent routine and won’t let you down, so once it’s set up there’s no need to worry about setting an alarm on a daily basis. I’ve set up two wake up alarms; one for weekdays and one for the weekends.
*Top Tip – Be consistent and try to wake up a full hour before you need to actually ‘do anything’ – this way you’ll wake feeling less stressed and you have more time to enjoy your morning cuppa!
4. Be More Active:
A fairly obvious but crucial point, the more active you are during the day, the more tired you will feel come bedtime and inevitably you will sleep much better.
It can be tricky fitting a workout in during the earlier hours but try to get a 30/40 minute workout into your schedule, whether thats before work or during your lunch break.
*Top Tip – Although daily exercise is key for a good night’s sleep, performing it too late in the day may cause sleep problems, so stick to mornings or lunchtimes.
5. Limit Your Daily Caffeine:
Now we all love a good cup of coffee and I’m not sure I could get through the day without the odd caffeine boost, but it’s important to remember coffee is a stimulant and should be consumed in moderation. Caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6–8 hours., therefore, drinking large amounts of coffee after 3–4 p.m. is not recommended, especially if you are to get a good night’s sleep!
*Top Tip – swap out your late afternoon coffee for an herbal tea, a refreshing alternative with other added health benefits. Try to avoid consuming any liquids at least an hour before bed too!
6. Reach For A Spray:
I must admit I have Josie to thank for this discovery, sleep spray is a really easy way to help improve how you sleep! A quick spritz of a lavender infused scent coupled with a few heavy and slow breaths can make the world of difference and help better set the mood.
I’ve also found a magnesium oil can really help with any muscle pains or aches which can of course impact how you sleep, so if you’re someone who is very active or struggles with back pain, give it a go!
*Top Tip – Everything in moderation – start little by little, it is possible to spray too heavily and both the magnesium spray and pillow spray can have the adverse effect.
7. Reduce Your Blue Light Exposure:
Exposure to ‘blue light’ can have a huge impact on sleep and our ability to switch off effectively.
In today’s society we spend much of our day glued to our phones and with work emails just a tap away it can be tempting to sit in bed and finish a few outstanding tasks. Try to abstain – stay away from your phone and stick it on airplane mode as soon as you cross that bedroom ‘threshold’ and replace with a good old book!
*Top Tip – Be sure to set up your ‘routine’ within the Philips Hue app well ahead of schedule and avoid being on your phone in the run up to bedtime. If you have a Google Home device like me, you can make any alterations to your alarm or routine via voice control, which is hugely convenient and doesn’t require you touching your phone!
8. Wake Up Naturally:
In my opinion, there is nothing worse than being woken up by the harsh sounds of a mobile phone alarm or the other half suddenly turning the lights on (!) If you’ve slept well, you’ll likely still be in a deep slumber and the harsh sounds/light can leave you feeling groggy and tired, the last thing you want before an important day at work.
Since swapping my mobile alarm for a Philips Hue wake up I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel come 6am. The routine of being woken up gradually with the power of the Hue lightbulbs is an absolute game changer and I often wake up a full 15/20 minutes before the actual alarm sounds come in.
*Top Tip – Utilise the Philips Hue lightbulbs in your bedside lamps in tandem with a Hue Go for the ultimate of morning calls and slow natural lightening.
Don’t underestimate the power of a decent night’s sleep and waking up naturally!
Check out the full Philips Hue range here.
What are your favourite tips for getting a better night’s sleep?
*This post was written in collaboration with Philips Hue, however all thoughts and views expressed are very much my own*