The last thing you think about at night can influence your dreams, so talking before bed can help to diffuse pent up emotions that can knock on the door of your subconscious. Communication can release oxytocin and vasopressin. These are the bonding or ‘cuddle’ hormones which help us to feel connected or attached to our partners. This can also lead to greater intimacy which is of course nature’s antidote to insomnia.
Start a dream journal: Writing it down can often dispel a lot of the powerful emotionality.
Make scents of sleep: Inhaling serene scents is a great way to ensure a restful and relaxing night’s sleep. Evidence suggests certain aromas may actually reduce blood pressure and heart rate, creating a calming effect in the body. Sedating scents such as lavender, jasmine around your room with either a plant or aromatherapy devices are extremely effective.
Pure PJs: The right bedding and pjs are key to managing optimum temperature and air circulation for good sleep. Choose natural fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, silk, satin because they absorb excess moisture, thus regulating body temperature. Simba mattresses follow this principle, including a super comfort layer of ‘Simbatex’ to provide cool, gentle support.
Plant the sleep seed: Research by NASA* has shown that certain plants can purify the air in our homes, while others’ scents are known for their relaxing capabilities. Some well-researched suggestions include: Garden Mum; Aloe Vera; Lavender; Jasmine; Snake plant and English Ivy.
It’s all in the head: A comfortable bed and the right supporting pillow are by far the most important items to challenge the sleep thief. The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your head in ‘neutral alignment’ – the way you would when standing up with good posture. Meanwhile, the quality and comfort of your bed is the secret to good slumber. A 2009 study in the Chiropractic Medical Journal found that new, medium-firm beds increased sleep quality, reduced back discomfort, and moderated stress-related symptoms that interfered with restful sleep.
Beditate: Meditation is one of the quickest ways for finding inner peace and quiet. The one-pointed-focus helps to quieten the blizzard of thoughts that crowd the mind from those precious ZZZs. You can listen to one here, called ‘Melt Into Sleep’.
About the author: Hope Bastine, is the resident psychologist and mindfulness expert for high-tech mattress maker Simba Sleep.
Hope trained in Neuroscience and Psychology at Westminster University and began her teaching career in psychology. After five years in education, she went on to earn a Post-Graduate Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy where she discovered how mindfulness can cure insomnia.
She was trained by Jason Crandell and Dr. P Collard in mindfulness meditation and the science and art of yoga. This moved her to incorporate a mind-body approach within a therapeutic setting that is evidence-based. In her transformation approach to psychotherapy, she incorporates positive psychology, yoga and mindfulness concepts into the room. She is also a sleep and trauma recovery specialist.
Hope is currently conducting wellbeing research at King’s College London.