Are you having problems sleeping? Do you have trouble falling asleep, or do you always wake up far too early? Do you never feel properly refreshed? A good night's sleep is important for us to function properly, and without enough quality rest we just don't feel 100%. So if you need to improve the quality of your sleep, here's what you should do …
1. Switch off Digital Devices 1 Hour before Bed
With the advent of tablets and smart phones, many of us are checking our devices right up until the time we switch off the light. But this is no good for helping us fall asleep; in fact, it does quite the opposite. The light that these devices emit affects our sleep pattern negatively. So switch off your laptop or tablet an hour before you go to bed, and resist the temptation to check your phone during this time. Nothing is that urgent!
2. Make Sure Your Bedroom is Comfortable
For good 'sleep hygiene', it's important to prepare your bedroom properly. A cool room is more comfortable for sleeping, so make sure that the temperature isn't too high. You should also block out as much light as possible. And if there is any noise that could keep you awake, use earplugs.
3. Sleep Alone if You Need to
We've been conditioned to believe that a couple should share a room. But sharing a bed can keep you awake - especially if your partner snores! Sleeping in separate rooms may actually be the best option for a good night's sleep. So if you have a spare room, consider using it. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your relationship.
4. Avoid Alcohol & Coffee before Bed
If you've been having trouble sleeping, look at your consumption of alcohol or coffee. Is there a pattern? These two things can disturb your sleep, so limit your alcohol consumption and avoid coffee during the evening. If you do want a coffee during the evening, ask for a decaf - it'll taste just as good, but you won't get that caffeine buzz.
5. Sleep at Regular Times
Getting into good sleep habits also involves going to bed and getting up at regular times. You may be tempted to lie in at weekends, but it won't help your sleep pattern. Get up at the same time every day, whether it's a work day or not. Then your body will know when to fall asleep.
6. Don't Nap - but if You do, Limit It
Naps can be very tempting, especially if you've had a poor night's sleep, but do avoid them if you can. If you really must take a nap, limit it to 30 minutes. If you sleep too long during the day, you won't be sleepy when you need to go to bed. That will probably mean you don't sleep well, which then makes you want to take a nap … and so the cycle continues.
7. Calm down, so That Worries Won't Keep You Awake
One thing that often keeps you awake is worries on your mind. When you're lying on bed, thoughts can race through your mind. So try to calm yourself and relax before you settle down to sleep. You can't solve your problems there and then, so the best thing to do is put these issues right out of your mind.
What keeps you awake at night?