Celebrated by many, World Sleep Day fall on Friday 17th March this year and highlights the importance of getting a good night's sleep.
Interested to know what are the best activities to do before bed for a great night’s rest, and which should you save until morning? Betway has conducted an experiment to reveal which activities you should be doing before bed to get the best night’s sleep possible.
Using a sleep tracking app to measure participant’s sleep out of a score of 100 (based on sleep duration, sleep quality, and restfulness), as well as how many minutes they spent awake in the night, the results reveal how your bedtime routine can have an impact on your shut-eye. They have also worked with sleep experts to explain why these activities have an effect on our sleep.
These are the five best activities for a good night’s sleep:
These are the five worst activities for a good night’s sleep:
Key findings include:
Self-care is the secret to a good night’s sleep, with meditation and face masks ranking top of the list
Watching horror movies and true-crime shows before bed result in the lowest quality of sleep
Listening to music before bed will help you sleep for longer, while meditating is best for getting the highest amount of deep sleep, one of the three stages in the sleep cycle
Susan Miller, lead researcher and certified sleep expert (RPSGT) at SleepMattressHQ.com, explains why certain activities help you drift off to sleep:
“Meditation apps have a positive impact on sleep as they help to relax the mind and body, reducing stress and anxiety levels. These are major contributors to sleep issues. It is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night when the mind is calm and focused. It is important to avoid screen time screen before bed as it can interfere with sleep since it suppresses the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin production.
Listening to music before sleep can definitely have a positive impact on sleep. Music can be calming and soothing, and it can help to reduce anxiety and stress levels. However, it is important to choose the right kind of music. Some studies suggest that music with a frequency of around 432 Hz may have a more calming effect on the body and mind than music at other frequencies. Music with a slow tempo and soft, relaxing melodies are the best options. Loud or upbeat music can be stimulating and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Carli Gasia, Certified Sleep Science Coach at Sleepopolis, adds:
“One of the most common issues people face when struggling to fall asleep is a racing mind. Relaxation exercises like meditation about 30 min before bed can reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, and help you stay asleep longer.
Listening to soft, relaxing music or lullabies improves sleep quality by calming parts of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn leads to slower breathing, slower heart rate and reduced blood pressure. Listening to the right music at bedtime can be a great way to distract yourself from troubling or anxious thoughts and help relax and fall asleep quicker and sleep for longer.
Susan also explains why horror movies and true-crime shows have such a negative effect on our sleep:
“Watching horror movies or crime shows before going to sleep can have a negative impact on sleep. Horror movies can be very stimulating and increase anxiety and stress levels, making it harder to fall asleep. The content of these movies can also trigger nightmares or disturbed sleep for some individuals.
In fact, any activity that is stimulating for your mind can affect your sleep. These include office emails, online conference calls, or heated arguments on the phone or in person”.
“All the suspense and jump scares in horror movies and true-crime shows increase physiological arousal in your body, which is the opposite of what helps you relax for bed. It will be hard to drift off after consuming this media at bedtime because you're shocking your body into staying awake and trying to go to sleep at the same time”.