The popular German Christmas carol Silent Night (Stille Nacht) by Franz Xaver Gruber reveres the heavenly peace of sleep. Yet, so many of us find the season stressful, or depending on where you live, too hot and hectic to nod off. Sleep rejuvenates and suffuses us with a feeling of calm—it is an essential ingredient for a peaceful and happy new year.
Seeking a Stille Nacht, we asked the Good Night Co. to help us unlock the secrets of the Sandman…
The festive season can make a good night’s sleep feel next to impossible. Our healthy routines often fly out the window, leaving us feeling tired and run down as we enter the new year. Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t need to be a challenge this year, you just need to adopt a few simple habits to help maintain the wellness you’ve worked so hard for—without missing out on the fun.
Avoiding a drink over Christmas can seem impossible, but being mindful of what you’re drinking and how much your drinking can make such a difference to your sleep quality. A recent study by Columbia University has found that sugar influences our sleep patterns by increasing sleep arousals—intrusions that pull you out of deep sleep without actually awakening you. This means that a night spent on wine, beer or sugary cocktails can lead to a double whammy of sleep disturbance. Ensuring you hydrate between glasses and maybe opting for the vodka and soda option will help keep your sleep on track.
Summer in Australia makes sleep a little more challenging than usual! Feeling hot and sticky is not only physically uncomfortable, but it can prevent your body from settling into deep sleep and reaping all the good hormones released in the deeper stages of rest. Studies have shown that the temperature in your bedroom is one of the most important factors in achieving a quality night’s sleep. An excellent way to keep your body temperature down is to open a bedroom window or utilise your fan or air conditioning. You can also invest in a Silk Pillowcase to help keep your body temperature cool all night long.
The festive season also adds an extra layer of stress and anxiety that we may not usually deal with. With Christmas shopping and cooking added to the to-do list, sleep gets pushed to the bottom. For those struggling to switch off and minimise overthinking before bed, mindfulness meditation can help ease those feelings so your sleep quality isn’t being affected. In a study by JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that individuals practising mindful meditation experienced less insomnia, fatigue and depression at the end of six sessions, than a comparable group spending their sessions learning about standard sleeping tips. This is because meditation helps train the relaxation response in our brain, which diverts stressful energy.
Take a Nap or Two
While nothing beats a solid 7-9 hours’ sleep to keep you on top of your game, it’s not always possible at this time of year. Give yourself permission to repay the sleep debt with a sleep-in or power nap as often as you need it. A recent study from the Journal of Sleep Research found the power of a nap can have any large number of benefits, including things like improvement in reaction time, decreased fatigue and decreased confusion. If you’ve got time for a short snooze, the best time to take a nap is after lunch, between 2.00pm and 3.00pm, when the body’s energy naturally flags. For optimal results, it’s good to keep your nap to under 90 minutes to ensure you won’t have a sleepless night.
Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy yourself this holiday season. Take the time to reset and relax, so you’re ready to tackle whatever the new year throws your way.
About Good Night Co.
Established by Australian mums, Shea Morrison and Danielle Knight, The Goodnight Co. launched with a goal to help the world fall back in love with sleep. Since establishing the brand with their silk products in early 2015, the mums spent the next five-years researching scientifically founded sleep solutions and curating a range of products which people could tailor to create a personalized sleep ritual. Building on this in 2019, with sleep retreats and workshops providing a mixture of education and relaxation, science and deep sleep, meditation and mindfulness. Grab a pillow and head over to their website to build your own sleep ritual!