The Shrinking Violet Guide: Sleep and why it’s important + Koala Review
When I tell clients they have to sort their sleep out to lose weight, I am often met with disbelief. You see, weight loss isn’t just about what you eat or how much you exercise, but rather total body health. Of course food is around 80% of body composition, but to me sleep is around 15% of weight loss.
You see, sleep is when our body utilises the down time to rest and repair. Getting 7-8 hours of good quality sleep at night is important, and studies show that if you don’t get enough sleep you can experience low concentration, prone to higher stress levels and of course you can feel fatigued.
One scary fact I learned earlier this year is that if you’re getting 5 and a half hours or less sleep, you’re could actually lose upto 50% LESS weight than someone who is getting 8 hours or more.
Setting yourself up for sleep in the right way is important and I encourage bed time routines.
My top tips for sleep:
- Minimise screen time after sunset and ensure all electronics are away 60-90 minutes before sleeping. Presence of artificial light leads to stress hormones flooding the bloodstream. This disruption leads to elevated stress hormones, sugar cravings, compromised fat metabolism (aka burning fat), compromised sleep and diminished energy. If you are using technology after sunset, which is most of us, make sure you install an app to your laptop or computer such as f.lux which is a blue light blocker. This puts a sepia tint over your screen to eliminate artificial blue light. There is also an app that is already installed in iPhones called ‘Night Shift’ which you can turn on in your settings. Both of these apps are programmed to come on when the sun sets and turn off when the sun rises.
- Aim to be asleep by no later than 10.30 each night. Obviously there will be times where that’s not possible – especially if you’re on a night out, but it’s what you do consistently over time that counts. My recommendation is to hop into bed around 9.30-10pm with a lamp or dim lights and read. This will signal to your body that it’s time to start winding down.
- Improve your sleeping environment. If you’re a light sleeper, perhaps it’s time to invest in some black out curtains. Our bodies are highly calibrated genetically via our Circadian Rhythm to respond to the rise and set of the sun to govern our sleep and wake patterns, so sometimes to make sure you’re getting that little bit of extra sleep, extra measures such as black out curtains are needed. White noise machines, earplugs and fans are also a few other tools you could consider! Uncomfortable bed? Trade it in for a new one. Spending money on a good quality bed is one of the best choices you can make, considering most of us keep our beds for several years. I recently got a Koala mattress which I have fallen in love with and will be reviewing below.
- Take a magnesium supplement. Having trouble getting a sound night’s sleep? Try magnesium! Insomnia is a symptom of magnesium deficiency and magnesium also helps suppress the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, allowing for a better night’s sleep. Magnesium is cheap to pick up, but make sure you go for a quality brand such as this one here.
- Minimise caffeine intake. Now – I know this sucks for some of you with your beloved coffee. But if you have adrenal issues then you should really only be having one cup a day anyway! Keep your coffee to the morning and ideally avoid caffeinated drinks after 1pm so that your body has time to process it before sleep.
If you are serious about improving your health, then it’s time to get serious about sleep. Making good sleep a priority and not trying to do too much is important. It’s time to stop the glorification of busy. Being busy does not make you a superhero.
Koala Mattress Review
Now it’s no secret that I spend a lot of time travelling. In fact, when I posted that I was going to do a 7 night’s sleep review of my Koala, I didn’t even consider the fact that I wouldn’t be at home for 7 nights in a row for awhile. Having now had the chance to lie down (hehe) in my own bed for a prolonged amount of time, I thought I would write up my review as promised.
Let me start by saying that I spend a lot of time in my bed. I don’t generally work at a desk or on a couch so I often end up propped up in bed working. For me, being comfortable while I work helps me produce better quality posts.
I have been in love with my Koala since the first night I slept in it. Not knowing what I was in for when I first ordered my Koala, I was a little nervous because I hadn’t tested it out. But after scrolling through dozens of reviews I took the plunge and went ahead. The Koala was super convenient to order because it comes in a box and is delivered right to your door. My new house is 3 stories, so the fact it came all tucked up in a box made it so much easier to transport up stairs to my room.
Setting up my koala was super easy too. My room isn’t very big, so once I had my bed frame up, I placed the rolled up koala inside it and used the cutting tool to open. I actually filmed an unboxing video if you missed that. It fluffed up beautifully and after flipping so I had it the right way, I was excited to finally make up my bed.
I love the fact that the Koala is ‘just right’. It’s not a super soft bed, but it’s also not too firm. It definitely falls somewhere in between. You will have seen the add on Facebook where there’s a mattress with a glass of red wine and someone jumps on the bed beside it with zero spillage – yup, that’s Koala. It has zero partner disturbance technology, and whilst I am currently single, I can vouch that I certainly don’t feel or hear when the cat jumps up 😉
Whenever my friends come to visit my house for the first time, I also make them lie on my bed and each of them has enjoyed the mattress too. I have had this bed for 20 days now and I don’t see myself changing my opinion on it – however Koala does have a 120 night mattress guarantee, so if you don’t like it they’ll give you a full refund!
I really like Koala as a company. To me, their ethos is just spot on. You buy a mattress, and whilst doing so you help a kiwi. When you buy a Koala mattress, you also adopt a kiwi. Koala NZ is partnered with WWF New Zealand and together they are protecting kiwi. Their work includes reducing numbers of the predators that harm vulnerable young kiwi, as well as carrying out tracking to gather information about location, health, and behaviours of birds. You’ll also be supporting groups as they move kiwi to areas of the country where numbers are low, so they can re-populate these areas. I love that when you’re buying something for yourself, you’re also helping our national icon too.
I could go into the specifics about the details of the mattress too, but at the end of the day you guys could easily go to their website and read that for yourself, when I know all you’re after is to know if it’s comfortable. The answer to that is a resounding yes. I have enjoyed some of the best nights sleeps in this bed so far, it is well worth the already reasonable price (Plus they often have discount codes floating around on their website – aka $150 off at the moment for New Years!).
I hope if anyone is in the market for a new bed, you seriously consider Koala as an option. I love mine! I hope these tips on getting a good nights sleep help you in your endeavour to good health too.
Happy Snoozing! x