5 Ways To Turn Off Your Brain So You Can Actually Sleep At Night - Women's Health

5 Ways To Turn Off Your Brain So You Can Actually Sleep At Night

From one bleary-eyed woman to another. - by Olivia Arezzolo

by | Sep 10, 2021

From one bleary-eyed woman to another, the weight of the world right now has taken its toll on everyday life, and our sleep cycles in particular. Poor sleep hygiene and a lack of routine when it comes to bedroom behaviour, has the ability to burden your overall health in a variety of ways, including increased anxiety, lack of productivity, and a lacklustre complexion.

To brighten the mood and bring some rosiness back to your cheeks, we’ve found 5 fantastic habits that will help you to sleep more soundly at night. Here’s how to master the art of catching those all important zzzz’s…

  1. Block out the blue light.

At least 2 hours before your anticipated bedtime, you should be reducing your exposure to blue light in order to signify an energy shift and allow your brain to properly wind down. Melatonin, the so-called sleepiness hormone, is dramatically affected by bright and blue light. Try to make your bedroom a tech free space with soft lighting: Stop scrolling, forget the late night work emails, you need to dramatically reduce screen time in order to experience deep sleep.

  1. Invest in soft scents and aromatherapy.

It’s long been known that lavender can induce a relaxation response in the body and mind, stripping away some anxieties for a greater sense of calm. If you don’t have a diffuser, consider this a sign to test and trial essential oils as a part of your night time routine.

  1. Get busy before bed.

Sex before bed is one of the more fun, and faster, ways to fall into a deep sleep. The big O releases the hormone oxytocin (which counteracts stress), as well as serotonin, which helps to stabilise your body and mind throughout the sleep cycle to hopefully reach a deeper sleep. No lover in your life right now? No worries. You can reach climax all by yourself.

  1. Create a soothing skin care routine.

Carving out some additional me time to nourish you body and apply a series of luxurious serums and creams before bed, is a wonderful way to enter a near meditative state. Metaphorically washing away the day while gently massaging yourself promotes greater blood flow and therefore a sense of calm, working to diminish stress hormones or cortisol that may have peaked.

Self-care is important, so indulge in products that make you feel good and help get your glow on. This Self-Care Awareness Month, Edible Beauty have unveiled a new limited-edition Sleeping Beauty bundle with a replenishing overnight face mousse mask and CAWLIFE rose quartz crystal eye mask. Two premium beauty products that will near guarantee an extra level of zen once the sun rises.

  1. Make time for meditation.

No need to get all woo woo, however, meditation is a well known relaxation technique. Something as simple as child’s pose and some intentional breathwork can quiet your body and mind. Practiced regularly before bed, meditation helps to reduce insomnia and sleep troubles by promoting an overall sense of calm. Ommmmmm.

Usher your body into a dreamy unconscious by practicing some of these healthy habits today. Fall asleep faster and wake feeling more refreshed; this relaxing routine might be all you needed to truly nod off.

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?