How to Enjoy a Good Night's Sleep

How to Enjoy a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep: the uncherished me time

Life is unpredictable and full of unexpected challenges. One moment everything goes according to plan and the next moment that great plan blows up and the whole world comes crashing down. We worry and stress ourselves over every aspect of our lives constantly. But should we also lose our sleep over them?

Our sleep is not merely downtime, the time of the day when we sign out and shut down. Sleep is the definition of me time, which, according to Oxford Languages, is “time spent relaxing on one's own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.”

What a shame then that we don’t take the time to enjoy a good night’s sleep more consistently.


How well do we know our sleep?

We spend about one-third of our lives either sleeping or trying to fall asleep. With all this time spent in the company of sleep, if sleep were a person, they would be our significant other – a husband, wife, or friend, though, whom we hardly know.

Take dreams, for example. How well do we remember them as we wake up? Now consider that sleep researchers estimate that the average person spends barely two hours dreaming each night. How do we spend the rest of our time sleeping?

For starters, sleep is not uniform. Over the course of a night, we go through several rounds of sleep, alternating between REM sleep and NONREM sleep.

When these cycles get interrupted, for whatever reason, we are thrown off, just as we would be if we were interrupted during time spent with our significant other. The more frequent the interruptions, the less satisfying this relationship becomes.

Losing a good night’s sleep, just like losing a lifelong partner, can be tough for us. Neither can be easily replaced. The people who stand by us are to be cherished. And the same goes for our sleep.


Nurturing our sleep

A good routine before going to bed is key to a calm and deeply satisfying sleep. From the environment we sleep in, to our health and hygiene, it is up to us to ensure that we sleep better, in order to wake up the next morning fully rested, energetic, and happy.

Here is what we can do:

Dim the lights
Bright light exposure from lamps and screens can throw our internal clock off and seriously sabotage our sleep. Switching off computers and dimming the lights, especially those overhead, helps us better transition to bedtime since artificial light blocks melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Candlelight, with its warm, flickering light, is a natural alternative to artificial light that does not disturb our circadian rhythm.

Minimize noise
Night sounds can wake us up and break up our sleep cycle. Getting sufficient undisturbed sleep is critical for our well-being. Studies show that sleeping in complete silence can increase the duration of our deepest NONREM sleep by a quarter to half an hour. If that is out of our control, the use of earplugs can silence most if not all disturbing noises.

Keep a consistent sleep schedule
Waking up and going to bed more or less at the same time every day can optimize our biological clock. As a result, our bodies learn to function more efficiently, keeping us strong and energized. But if going to bed at a fixed hour brings back childhood memories of being told when to go to bed, at least listen to your body and hit the sack the moment you feel tired. Sacrificing sleep for watching a movie all the way through, can result in sleep deprivation, affecting our mental and physical health.

Disconnect an hour before bed
Smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers keep us hyper-stimulated, while their bright screens suppress our production of melatonin. It is therefore advisable to switch off all electronic appliances at least an hour before turning in for the night.

Exercise regularly
The overall health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are indisputable. The more active we are, the more our bodies push us to sleep at night. According to sleep medicine psychologist Michelle Drerup, PsyD, activity increases our sleep drive. But we shouldn’t overdo it. Vigorous exercise close to bedtime can prevent our bodies from effectively winding down during the night.

Avoid late dinners
Our digestive system keeps working while we sleep, only at a slower pace than when we are awake. So we should give it a break from trying to digest large meals shortly before going to bed. A full stomach can cause indigestion and keep us awake, particularly if the late meal includes fatty and spicy foods.

Skip caffeine and alcohol; eliminate tobacco
Caffeine is a drug that stimulates our brain and nervous system. Alcohol affects our body as an anesthetic, sedative, or stimulant, depending on the amount we consume. Nicotine acts as both a stimulant and a depressant. All tamper with our circadian rhythms. If we want a good night's sleep, we must allow our biological clock to respond naturally to the light cues that keep it in sync.

Enjoy a calming and relaxing herbal blend
Our sleep checklist cannot be complete without a bonus tip that is not only good for us but also tastes great. Our ATHONITES SWEET DREAMS herbal blend from certified organic cultivations on Mount Athos eases muscle tension, calms the mind, and helps promote a more satisfying, restorative sleep. Its flavorful bouquet of chamomile, calendula, lavender, and rose flower, feels calm and refreshing.

Αdopt an effective skincare night routine

 Apply an eye cream. Our natural ATHONITES ANTI-FATIGUE AND RESTORE EYE CREAM hydrates, soothes, and regenerates the thin and delicate skin around the eyes, relieving them of puffiness and dark circles.

 Moisturize and tone the face. Our natural ATHONITES RESTORE AND REVITALIZE 24H MOISTURIZING FACE CREAM for dry and normal skin promotes cell regeneration and nutrition, boosts the production of collagen, and restores our skin’s elasticity and natural glow.

 Nurture lips and nails. Our organic ATHONITES LIP AND NAIL CARE BALM is the perfect remedy for chapped lips, and the dry skin and cuticles around our nails. Based on a centuries-old recipe from Mount Athos, it restores the health and appearance of our lips and nails, working overnight to moisturize, soothe, nourish, and protect them.

 Replenish the body. Our organic ATHONITES VITALIZE AND HYDRATE BODY CREAM is the ultimate nighttime body care cream. Its exceptionally rich formula guarantees a perfectly toned, nourished, and hydrated skin.

The fact is that we all have different daily routines that require different sleeping habits. Studies have shown that high-performance athletes benefit from sleeping 10 hours a night, but that doesn’t need to apply to the rest of us, for whom 8 hours of sleep should be enough.

Bottom line? It’s not about how long we sleep, but how well.

So let’s get into the habit of enjoying a good night’s sleep.