How to get a better night’s sleep
Sometimes, sleep can be improved significantly just by making a few lifestyle changes- this list is made up of the habits that can most effect sleep. Try a couple at a time and see how your sleep improves!
– Sleep as much as needed to feel refreshed and healthy during the day- no more or less as these can both have negative effects on your sleep and how you feel.
– A regular wake time in the morning will help set your body into a familiar routine and eventually leads to regular sleep times. Try to avoid napping or sleeping in, as this will affect your sleep routine.
– Exercise just before bed can make it difficult to wind down and fall asleep at night, however earlier daily exercise can help deepen sleep and make you feel more refreshed in the morning.
– Loud noises such as cars driving past in the night will disturb your sleep even if you don’t remember it- ear plugs may help with this. Similarly light in the bedroom reduces sleepiness levels- try some black out curtains and remove any light emitting devices.
-The temperature should be comfortable and not too warm
-The bedroom should be associated with peace and relaxation. Activities in the bedroom should be kept to a minimum- so get rid of the phone, laptop and TV and replace with an old fashioned alarm clock!
– Heavy meals just before bedtime can disturb sleep. Light snacks such as a banana or crackers can be used just before bedtime to curb any hunger before morning- keep to carbohydrates at this time in the evening and don’t over do it!
-Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can affect the body for 5 hours or more so try and avoid smoking and caffeinated drinks halfway through the day onwards. Remember that chocolate has caffeine in it- especially a high coco content.
-Alcohol can help you feel sleepy at first, but this effect does not last and over the night you will experience a much lighter, disrupted sleep.
-There are lots of foods with sleep promoting agents in them for example dairy products, turkey bananas, milk…but the reality is, you would probably have to eat a huge amount of these foods for them to affect your sleep – behavioural changes are much more effective such as the advice in this article.
Remember: Results won’t be instant when you’re trying to change habits, stay consistent and you should see differences in about 2 weeks.
These techniques are not going to fix a sleep disorder, but they will help the average sleeper get a better night’s sleep. Contact Sleepyhead if you would like help for insomnia sleep disorder or related sleep problems.