10 top tips for getting a good night’s sleep
People can often have difficulties with their sleep resulting in problems concentrating, fatigue, irritability, and loss of motivation during the day. As many as 1 in 4 people experience difficulties. These difficulties can include problems getting off to sleep or staying asleep, sleeping too much or unsatisfying sleep, with early morning waking.
Sleep problems can occur as a result of a number of different conditions or medical problems therefore it is important to consult your GP also.
Here are the 10 top tips for getting a good night’s sleep that we think are useful:
1. Make sure your bedroom space is comfortable – make sure you have the right mattress for you, keep the right temperature – often a cooler bedroom is more conducive for sleep. Block out noise and light.
2. Have a fixed sleep and waking routine – aim to go to bed at the same time, and get up at the same time each day, even just a 5-10 minutes difference each night can upset our body routine. This way your body will get used to a regular sleep rhythm.
3. Get out of bed – if you can’t fall asleep within 20-30 minutes then get up, have a snack, do something boring. When you feel sleepy take yourself back to bed. This way your body resets itself and it can be easier to get off to sleep again.
4. Don’t Worry – thinking and worrying about the day or the next day can keep us awake and raise our adrenaline levels making it difficult to get off to sleep. Try out a ‘putting the day to rest’ routine where you write your worries or to do lists down in a notebook earlier in the evening before bed time. If you wake with worries in the night keep your notebook by your bed, write them down and tell yourself you will address them in the morning.
5. Exercise – when we have some physical activity in our day we are more likely to feel tired and fall asleep more easily. Go for walk or run at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. This is the best time as too late will keep you awake and exercising early in the morning won’t make a difference to your sleepiness later.
6. Relax – before bed have some wind down time, put your laptop, mobile phone, tv away, and focus on doing something relaxing. This could include taking a warm bath, doing some meditation, reading your favourite book, listening to relaxation music or guided imagery.
7. Avoid – caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes before bed. All these substances can affect the quality of your sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it keeps your body awake so try not to have it at least 4 hours before bed. Alcohol can make you feel sleepy but interfere with sleep later.
8. Don’t nap – try not to sleep earlier in the day. This means that you won’t feel sleepy later when you want to get to sleep.
9. Keep bed for sleeping – Try to avoid studying, watching TV, using your mobile phone, planning. All these activities keep you awake, and screens can make our brain think it is still daylight.
10. Don’t worry about not sleeping, don’t get frustrated with yourself. Remind yourself that you are enjoying the bed and relaxation!
So have a go! Try these tips out. You may find some work better for you than others. If you are trying something new then try to stick to it for a period of time even if it doesn’t feel like its working straight away. Our body and mind takes time to adjust to changes, but hopefully you will find improvements in your sleep over time. Let us know how it goes on our forum: Click here!