the golden hour: the best way to wind down to sleep with Dr Gibson

Great sleep takes a bit of practice (no really, it does). Find out how changing your night time routine can add more zZzs to your life.

the *golden hour*: the best way to *wind down* to sleep with Dr Gibson

if it takes you ages to fall asleep, this one’s for you

Whilst we can switch the lights off in the bedroom in a split second, we can’t instantly switch ourselves off the moment we climb into bed. In fact, if you crash out within 10 seconds or so of your head hitting the pillow, it’s actually a sign of sleep deprivation rather than having a talent to get to sleep quickly.  

For most of us it can be quite a challenge to make sure we’re both mentally and physically relaxed enough to get to sleep when we get to bed. But understanding your ‘golden hour’ for sleep can help.

so what is the golden hour?

Your golden hour is that bit of time before you go to bed to wind down and prepare for sleep.

The best thing about making the most of your golden hour is it creates a set bedtime routine. Our body clock is stronger when we’re consistent, which will also make it easier for you to get to sleep every night.

golden hour checklist

  • Ideally you should start your golden hour before bed by doing some sort of brain dump or to-do list. This could be on paper or on your phone. 
  • Once you’ve done your list, switch off all tech to avoid blue light. If you can dim your lights in your home, even better. Dim lights in the evening and a complete blackout in the bedroom has been proven to improve both sleep quantity and sleep quality.   
  • You’re now in a good place to choose the best way to relax. Whether you prefer reading a book or doing some sort of hobby, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s relaxing and doesn’t involve the use of technology. 
  • Try to avoid drinking caffeine after lunchtime and alcohol at least 3 hours before bed to get the best sleep. Instead, try some chamomile tea or a few drops of CBD oil.
  • Taking a warm bath has also been proven to work well as part of a bedtime routine. Our body temperature drops as we sleep, and baths can help start this process. 
  • Meditation and breathing exercises work wonders too. The 4 7 8 breathing technique is an easy one to try -  breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold it for 7, then breathe out through your mouth for 8 seconds..