Top Ten Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep
We’ve done the hard work for you and collated some recommended ways to get a better night’s sleep.
But first, in case you’ve had your head in the sand (or under a pillow if you’re lucky!) a reminder of why sleep is essential. It affects our lives more than most of us are prepared to recognise. How often do you hear yourself declaring to colleagues “I didn’t sleep last night!”?
But do you then consider how that lack of sleep can negatively affect your wellbeing or even your performance and motivation?
From driving to work, to performing everyday tasks; sleep is vital for optimum concentration.
Not only does it help us recover from the daily mind chatter of things we need to get done – emails, deadlines, social media etc. It also allows our bodies to regenerate or heal if it needs to.
So if you struggle to get to or to stay asleep try some of these…
Find a schedule that works and stick to it
Heading off to bed at the same time each evening will ensure that, as creatures of habit, our minds and bodies know what’s expected of them. And, sadly, using the weekend as a time to catch up on lost sleep doesn’t work!!
Get plenty of exercise – but not near bedtime
Getting daily exercise in our lives is a ‘given’. It benefits our mind and bodies in so many ways.
But try to finish any exercise routine at least two hours before you head off to bed, so your body and mind have time to wind down and settle.
Ditch the ‘smokes’ and caffeine!
Most of us will have either a nicotine or caffeine addiction, however mild. Whichever is your nemesis make sure you stop at least eight hours before getting off to sleep. And remember, chocolate contains caffeine, so you chocoholics are not off the hook entirely!
Alcohol is out too…
That nightcap you look forward to each evening to help you wind down has the opposite effect. It not only inhibits the all-important REM stage of sleep; it can also impair breathing is some people.
Did you know big meals can interfere with your sleep? Stick to lighter snacks or start eating your evening meal earlier. Don’t forget to drink fewer fluids closer to bedtime, too; otherwise, your bladder will dictate your sleep patterns!
Stop the mid-afternoon napping
You may think you’re making up for lost sleep, especially if you haven’t slept well the night before. But an afternoon nap can have the opposite effect so avoid at all costs.
(Frankie says) RELAX!
Another one that’s easy to get wrong; especially if you’re a business owner. But however hectic your day or how long your ‘To Do’ list – make sure you stop a couple of hours before bedtime so your mind and body have time to wind down.
Bubbles at Bedtime
The drop in body temperature that takes place after a hot bath helps you feel sleepy and relaxed before slipping into lovely cool sheets.
Check your medications
Some medicines have the unfortunate side effects of disrupting your sleep. If you have a history of disturbed sleep, ask your doctor if there are alternatives. And always check the label before taking over the counter or herbal remedies.
Set the scene
Prepare your bedroom for a good night’s sleep. Make sure it’s dark, cool and gadget-free. And it’s worth checking mattress and pillow options too.
We’ll undoubtedly be adding all these to our bedtime routine. Happy World Sleep Day!