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Ultimate Guide to Better Sleep

by Natalia Nicholson October 11, 2021 7 min read

Woman Sleeping With Scented Candles

Get Better Sleep

Sleep is definitely something that we all take for granted. We often force ourselves to stay awake and pull all-nighters to study, work on a project, watch movies, or play video games. Now, while most of these activities are typically harmless, sacrificing 8 hours of sleep comes with heavy consequences.

 

Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the dangers associated with not having enough sleep, what are the ways that can help you have a better sleeping experience, and how aromatherapy aids in sleeping!

 

What Happens To Your Body Without Enough Sleep?

 

If, for some reason, a person is unable to get enough sleep, they will certainly end up getting some serious health problems. Take a look at some of the short-term problems that sleep depravity can bring:

 

  • A Decrease in Quality of Life - Not having enough sleep can dramatically affect someone’s mood and energy levels. They’ll have a lesser drive to exercise, perform typical daily activities, or socially engage with people.

 

  • Extreme Drowsiness During the Day- We’ve all experienced daytime drowsiness at certain points in our lives. But for those with sleeping issues, daytime sleepiness can hit them pretty hard during the day. This makes them unable to focus at work and feel unproductive.

 

  • Terrible Memory- Individuals who have a hard time getting quality sleep are known to have terrible memories. This comes as no surprise because sleep deprivation can affect the brain’s capability to analyze, process, and retain outside information, leading to an impaired memory.

 

  • Alarming Health Problems - When a person is unable to get enough sleep, they run the risk of developing long-term health issues such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and stroke.

 

  • Hastens Skin Aging - Our bodies tend to continually release cortisol (stress hormones) when we don’t get enough sleep. When this happens, collagen (the protein responsible for keeping our skin smooth and elastic) gets broken down by cortisol very quickly. This leaves our skin dry, itchy, and looking a lot older than it should.

 

  • Unwanted Weight Gain- Another unwanted side effect of losing sleep is the weight gain that comes along with it. The weight is caused by the body increasing the production of ghrelin (a hormone known to stimulate hunger), which has been linked to sleep loss.

 

  • Increased Risk of Mortality - You might think “Well, that escalated quickly!” But it is true. A study published in 2007 called the “Whitehall II Study” showed that of the 10,000 British civil servants who had their sleeping patterns monitored for over two decades, those who only had seven to five hours of sleep per night almost doubled their death risks from all kinds of causes—particularly from cardiovascular diseases.

 

Living a life where you’re not having enough sleep does sound like a nightmare, but why is sleep so important?

 

The Importance of Having Proper and Quality Sleep

 

Believe it or not, if a person was to go on long periods without sleep, the results can be fatal. There is a rare genetic disorder called Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), and it has an even rarer version called Sporadic Fatal Insomnia, which only has 24 documented cases as of 2016, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 

What makes sleep so important is the fact that it allows our bodies and mind to recharge. It also aids in keeping our immune systems healthy, making it easier for our bodies to fight off diseases. Sleep also aids in supporting the body’s growth and development, especially for children and teens.

 

According to the NIH, sleep also helps promote a healthy brain function. During sleep, the brain is busy forming new pathways, which aids a person to learn and retain valuable information. On the other hand, being deprived of sleep can have terrible effects on a person’s emotional well-being. Depression, suicidal tendencies, and anxiety have all been linked to sleep deficiency, clearly pointing out that a lack of sleep can ruin an individual's mental state.

 

Okay, so we’ve been talking about what happens to a person’s body if they don't get enough sleep and how important getting enough sleep truly is. Next is the crucial part of today’s topic because now we’ll be providing everyone with 10 ways that will help them sleep better!



10 Ways for Better Sleep and Overcoming Your Insomnia

 

Insomnia can be a tricky problem to deal with. According to AVIVA’s 2017 Wellbeing Report, there are around 4,960,000 individuals who are suffering from insomnia in the UK alone. For sufferers, battling insomnia can sometimes feel like an impossible war to win. However, there are ways to help alleviate the symptoms of this sleep disorder, and they might even help a person’s sleeping patterns, sleeping habits, and quality of sleep get back to normal.

 

  1. Avoid the blue-light. Blue-light is the soft, blue glow emanating from our digital clocks, TVs, tablets, cellphones, and more. It has the highest energy levels and shortest wavelength out of all the lights in the visible spectrum, which means that they can mess with a person’s circadian rhythm (the internal process that our bodies have to regulate our sleep-wake cycles). Avoiding the blue-light can help our circadian rhythm to kick in at the right time, making us drowsy and eager to get some sleep.

 

  1. Shorten your naps. Napping is actually pretty helpful, but too much of it can ruin your sleep cycle. The best way to utilize it is by having short ones that last for only 20 minutes or less. It’ll help you fight off daytime drowsiness without messing up your nightly sleeping patterns.

 

  1. Keep your clock out of sight. Staring at the clock and watching every second pass by can bring you a great deal of anxiety, especially if you’re worried about waking up at the right hour. This can make you develop a type of performance anxiety that will mess up your sleeping habits. Many students and employees have this issue, and one way they can address this problem is by keeping their clocks away from their beds or turning it away from view.

 

  1. Don’t drink coffee in the evening. Coffee helps jumpstart our day and keep us awake in the morning. But if you’re gulping down some coffee during the night, you end up ruining your circadian rhythm due to caffeine’s stimulant effects. Stick to the simple rule of drinking coffee only in the morning and your nights will surely be full of ZZZs.

 

  1. Lay off those alcoholic nightcaps. You might think that alcohol can help you sleep because it makes you drowsy. However, once its effects have faded, it only worsens the symptoms of any sleep disorder. Try looking for healthier and safer alternatives like a glass of warm milk or a cup of chamomile tea for better results.

 

  1. Turn down or switch the lights off. Turning down the lights, or switching them off completely, helps jumpstart our body’s natural circadian rhythm, making us feel drowsy and ready to sleep. Keeping them on will not only make it harder for us to sleep, but it can also mess with our circadian rhythm and ruin our sleeping patterns.

 

  1. Put the lighter and cigarette down. Just like coffee, cigarettes can keep a person up at night because nicotine is a known stimulant. If you already have insomnia and you have a habit of smoking, quitting would definitely help you sleep better. Ask your doctor for help, so you can finally break the bad habit.

 

  1. Relax and free your mind from stress. More often than not, stress is the main culprit for the many sleepless nights that we experience. Putting yourself in a relaxed state before bed can do wonders. Trying out some meditation or breathing exercises can truly help a lot. You can also read some calming pieces of literature, bathe in warm water, or listen to some soothing music.

 

  1. No pets allowed. Pets can actually keep a person up at night due to their night moves. They can also trigger allergies, so it’s best to keep your bed pet free during bedtime.

 

  1. Eat dinner at the right time. Having a heavy meal late at night can cause heartburns, which makes breathing and sleeping really difficult. Make it a point to eat your dinner at the right time, and if you have to eat late at night, go for light snacks (like crackers) instead.




BONUS: Aromatherapy Can Help You Out Too

 

Aside from the 10 ways we’ve mentioned, aromatherapy is also a great way to promote quality sleep. By definition, aromatherapy is a holistic restorative treatment that utilises natural plant extracts to boost an individual’s well-being and health. Now, while every scent is beneficial in general, there are certain scents that offer better results when it comes to promoting sleep.

 

Lilac and lavender are two of the most relaxing scents in aromatherapy, and they have unique chemistries that make them wonderful for sleeping.

 

With lilac, you have what’s called a lilac linalool—an alcohol that signals the brain to lower the production levels of cortisol (stress hormones)—to amplify feelings of happiness and peace, by reducing the cortisol levels present in our bodies.

 

Some of the main active ingredients of lavender include linalyl acetate, eucalyptol, and linalool. 

Lavender is known to promote wellness and calmness, while also reducing anxiety, mild pain, and stress. The linalool found in lavenders changes the ion channel function and inhibits acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. It results in theimprovement of sleep quality, better sleep duration, and less sleep disturbances. A 2013 study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website revealed that the anxiolytic effects of lavender did extremely well for 221 patients who had anxiety disorders.

 

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose which is the best method to help you fall asleep. But we do hope that the short list of suggestions we have today have been informative and helpful.


If you ever need some scented candles to help you relax and sleep, we havecashmere & lilacscents that you can purchase! Order them now, and give yourself a satisfying sleep that you deserve!

Natalia Nicholson
Natalia Nicholson



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