Wellness and beauty
A good snooze is vital for well-being
Studies have found too little sleep can make our T-cells go down – the cells that keep colds, flus and viruses away.
Araft of research around the world is finding not getting enough sleep can lead to consequences for our well-being, from weight gain to memory loss.
Some of the most recent scientific research has found: Losing just one night’s sleep is enough to stop your brain naturally resetting itself. When the brain cannot do this, researchers from Germany’s University of Freiburg discovered electrical activity increases, neurons become muddled and over-connect. New memories are not formed and in the long run this prevents the brain remembering and learning, and us from growing and adapting. Lack of sleep can – amazingly – lead to illness and even immune disorders such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes. How? Studies have found too little sleep can make our T-cells go down – the cells that keep colds, flus and viruses away – and push inflammatory proteins up. In short, the immune system is suppressed.
There are a number of programs to help us sleep better, as well as a lot of advice available online.
Founder of My Sleep Coach and international sleep expert Elina Winnel’s top tips for sleeping on planes include the martial arts trick of looking up at a 45-degree angle with the eyes closed, which helps calm the mind.
She also suggests exercising the day before because physical as well as mental tiredness improves the chances of sleeping in a seat. She recommends eschewing fashion for looser clothing that mimics what you would normally wear to bed and, for best results, noise-cancelling headphones playing brainwave music.
Other simpler tips are to prepare your body by hydrating before the flight, saying no to caffeine and alcohol while on board, staying warm with socks and a blanket to create a cosy in-bed feeling, and always using an eye mask, earplugs and U-shaped pillow.
The 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand, now offer a new Sleep By Design therapy. Experienced either in the hotels’ Nitra Spa or in-room, this 90-minute, four-stage process prepares guests for a blissful night’s sleep.
Guests are settled in a scented, warm dim room, covered in prewarmed towels, and binaural beats headphones and an eye mask. The second step includes a floral foot cleanse, magnesium oil rubbed on 10 pulse points and a five-minute reiki treatment. Step three is a massage matching the recipient’s breathing pattern, and the final stage is full reiki, followed by a bath and lavender tea.