If you spend more time staring at the ceiling than you do catching z’s, follow our easy to implement tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.
1. Avoid day-time napping
While naps can help us get through the day if we’re feeling tired, they can also prevent a good night’s sleep. If you do nap, limit it to 10 – 20 minutes to decrease fatigue but not impact on your bedtime routine.
2. Limit blue light exposure
Blue light from screens can affect melatonin production, the hormone that helps us know when and how long to sleep for. At least an hour or two before bed, put down the phone (some devices also have blue light filters which can be used) and limit TV/computer time.
3. Limit caffeine
Be mindful of when you have your last coffee or caffeinated beverage for the day. Limiting these drinks to earlier, such as before lunch, can make it easier for your body to prepare for sleep come night-time.
4. Wind down work earlier
It takes longer to settle if your mind is active. Checking emails and thinking about work late at night is a habit many of us have, but it’s worth trying to pair back night-time work. A more relaxing activity, such as reading a book or listening to a podcast, is recommended instead.
5. Invest in a quality mattress and pillow
Comfort is a vital factor in falling asleep in the first place, which is why it’s important to have a quality mattress and pillow. They can make all the difference in the world in making you feel supported and cosy as you rest.
6. Cool down your bedroom
The ideal room temperature for sleeping is said to be around 18°C. You don’t need a thermostat to check, but it’s a good idea to sleep with your window slightly open and limit the use of heaters in your bedroom so that you don’t get too warm.
Meditating before bed is an excellent way to unwind and prepare your body for sleep. There are lots of audio meditations you can listen to. Download a meditation app to your phone and find one specifically geared towards improving sleep – there are many to choose from.
There are countless benefits to regular exercise, including better quality sleep. As your core temperature rises a few degrees after exercise, when it eventually drops back down, you’re likely to feel drowsy later on. Research has found that morning exercise packs a greater punch (including better weight loss) and it can shift your body clock so you feel tired earlier in the evening.
9. Have dinner earlier in the night
By eating late at night, your circadian rhythms and biological clock are affected, which is why it can take longer to fall asleep and you may feel drowsy in the morning. Try to eat dinner earlier in the evening and opt for lighter meals (and bigger lunches so you have energy throughout the day).
10. Start the day right
Instead of only planning for a good night’s sleep that evening, start the day off with some healthy habits which will help you later on. These can include simple acts such as setting the alarm for the same time every day and getting outside for natural light.