Sweet dreams: The perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep!

VIVA Team | 27th March 2019

A massive 67 percent of UK adults suffer from sleep deprivation, and a further 31 percent have insomnia. While the struggles of getting to sleep and staying asleep can be frustrating, the true cost of a lack of sleep is more than just feeling tired, grumpy and short tempered.


Sleepless nights can have a negative impact on your overall health; regular poor sleep puts you at risk of conditions such as heart disease and obesity. Most adults need around 8 hours of good quality, uninterrupted sleep per night, but the true duration does differ between individuals; listen to your body! Consistently achieving a high-quality night’s sleep truly is essential for a long, healthy and happy life.


To help you overcome this, experts at Room to Sleep offer their perfect recipe for sweet dreams, to give you the best chance at a long and quality night’s sleep.


Here’s why you should take note of the above ingredients and tweak your bedtime routine to incorporate the individual elements that will help you drift off into a restful slumber…


0 screens


National Sleep Foundation research shows that the blue light emitted from electronic devices including televisions and smartphones suppresses melatonin production, making it harder to sleep.


0 cups of coffee after 2pm


Caffeine can take a while wear off and can cause sleep problems, even if you don’t feel it. For this reason, it’s best to limit coffee consumption to the morning hours, and if you absolutely must, limit your consumption to early afternoon at the latest. The Mayo Clinic also suggests restricting yourself to a maximum of 4 cups a day; any more will take you over 400mg, which they advise against. Too much caffeine can cause increased anxiety and irritability. If you have the urge to drink more coffee, choose decaffeinated.


1 dark bedroom


Light and darkness are powerful cues that let our bodies know when it’s time to rest or to get up for a new day. Thus, light in the bedroom impacts quality of sleep; artificial light after dark can make it harder to both fall and stay asleep.


1 well placed bed


Placing your bed to offer a clear view of the door is a simple calming technique that will help you to drop your guard and relax into a peaceful night’s sleep.


1 comfortable mattress, no older than 7 to 10 years


A comfortable mattress is key for a good night’s sleep. Listen to your body, if you wake up feeling achy, it may be a sign your mattress is lacking in support and is due a replacement.


1 set of cotton silk or linen bed sheets


The ideal temperature for sleep is between 18 and 24°C, being too hot can hinder sleep. Cotton, silk and linen have moisture-wicking properties and will absorb excess moisture to keep you comfortable throughout the night.


3 relaxing plants


Jasmine and Lavender are both known for their relaxing properties making them an ideal addition to the bedroom. If you’re worried about the upkeep of bedroom plants, a low maintenance option would be an Aloe Vera plant, known as a medicinal plant, it produces oxygen at night and will improve the surrounding air, making for a more restful slumber!


4 spritzes of sleep spray


Sleep sprays, ideal for spritzing on your pillow before bedtime, are infused with calming aromatherapy ingredients like chamomile and lavender for better sleep. Designed to help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed, studies have shown lavender to be a key ingredient for improved sleep quality. Anxiety can also work against a quality night’s sleep; to combat this, certain oils often included in sleep sprays, like chamomile, are known to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol and to boost ‘feel good’ hormones serotonin and dopamine, leaving you feeling relaxed, calm and ready to doze off into a restful night’s sleep.


15 minutes Epsom salt soak


Daily stresses and exercise can deplete the body of magnesium. Magnesium helps to keep the body healthy; it promotes bone health, relieves muscle pain and regulates blood sugar levels and blood pressure and it also helps to promote a feeling of calm and relaxation. To improve sleep, try soaking in mineral-rich Epsom bath salts three times a week for between 12 and 15 minutes. It’s also worth knowing that treating yourself to warm bath itself, will also benefit your sleep; the subsequent cooling down tricks your body into thinking you’ve gone from day time to night-time, which will help you to snooze as your head hits the pillow.


18 °C optimum room temperature


To adjust our core temperature, the body thermoregulates on a 24-hour circadian cycle, mirroring the sleep-wake cycle; we begin cooling down for sleep in the late afternoon and this continues into the evening. A lower body temperature helps us to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night and a raise in temperature signals the body to shift into a state of alertness and wake up. To support this process, the optimum ambient room temperature for sleep is around 18°C.


20 minutes of meditation (minimum)


Taking daytime stresses and work-to do lists to bed is going to be counterproductive to falling and staying asleep. Mindfulness and meditation techniques involve concentrating on your breathing and bringing your mind’s attention to the present, without letting any concerns about the past or future interrupt. Incorporating 20 minutes of mindfulness into your bedtime routine will help break the train of everyday thoughts and relax you into a good night’s sleep.


30 minutes exercise a day (but not just before bed)


Making time each day to exercise can help to improve your sleep quality, duration and reduce stress levels. Exercise increases the time spent in the most physically restorative phase of sleep, deep sleep, which helps to boost immune function and support cardiac health, and thus contributing to a sound and restful nights kip. However, it is important to bear in mind that exercising too close to bedtime can leave you feeling stimulated and energised and therefore interfere with your transition to sleep. To ensure you don’t find yourself in this position, avoid everything but gentle exercise (stretching, Yoga, etc) within 3 hours of your desired bedtime.