Have you ever experienced a great night’s sleep after getting out to the coast for a walk? Well, according to a new sleep study compiled for the National Trust, it seems that not all walks are equal. There seems to be something unique to a coastal walk that will help you sleep better.
Coastal walkers sleep for up to an extra 47 minutes
The sleep study found that a bracing walk along the coast could add up to 47 minutes extra onto your nightly sleep. Put another way – for a person that sleeps 8 hours, that’s very nearly an extra 10% sleeping time.
So what’s special about a coastal walk?
Whilst the sleep study did not identify any particular features of a walk by the coast that aid sleep, the participants in the study did point to feeling calm, alert and happier after a coastal walk. So maybe the improved sense of well-being that a coastal walk brings is why we are able to sleep longer
Think of a happy time
For many people, especially for those who live in non-coastal counties of the UK, a coastal walk is something that only happens whilst on holiday. Having escaped our everyday lives for a holiday may be part of the reason why we find coastal walks so relaxing.
This is probably where the good news about coastal walks ends for many of us. Unfortunately, the majority of UK citizens do not live within easy reach of the coast, reducing the opportunity for regular walks by the sea to aid their sleep.
So how can I improve my sleep if I don’t live by the coast?
If a regular coastal walk is not an option for you there are still some things that you can try to improve your sleep. There are many other sleep studies that link exercise to getting a better sleep, so getting out for a walk, even if it isn’t by the coast could be a help.
Walking is not only great exercise, it is also a good time to think and process your thoughts, helping you to de-stress and relax. Going to bed in a relaxed and positive mood is well known to help with sleep issues related to stress.
Many relaxation and guided imagery soundtracks feature sounds of the sea and waves lapping upon a beach. These soundtracks are readily available on CD, so are perfect for playing at bedtime and may help you feel in a similar way that coastal walkers reported feeling after their shorefront walk.
A great way to listen to music or relaxation soundtracks in bed without annoying your partner or having to wear headphones is with a Sound Asleep pillow, which features a small speaker, buried deep inside the pillow filling so that it cannot be felt by the person sleeping on it. Simply connect the pillow to a standard headphone socket via the wire supplied and you’ll be able to listen to music as you drift off to sleep. Because the speaker is positioned deep inside the pillow, it can only be heard by the person sleeping on it, so it won’t annoy your sleep partner.