How to get a good nights sleep
We can all at some point have trouble falling asleep and for some this can be a regular occurrence which can lead to stress, exhaustion and long term health issues. We all need rest to allow our bodies to recharge and mend itself. Here are a few useful tips for getting a restful night’s sleep.
Sometimes we can fall into that trap of feeling as though alcohol is the only thing that helps us fall asleep when in fact it stops us from achieving a restful sleep and wakes us up. While alcohol helps us to fall asleep quicker it stops us from reaching a deep enough sleep to achieve restful sleep. Limit your alcohol and have a few days a week of alcohol free sleep. You will soon notice the difference.
Turn off electronics an hour before sleep
Try to turn off the TV, laptop, phone etc. at least an hour before you intend to go to bed, these stimulate the mind and are counterproductive in allowing the mind to relax. Any more than 50 minutes screen time a day can cause decision fatigue and keep us on social media sites endlessly scrolling. Set yourself a limit and if you notice yourself going over it try to ask yourself what is it that you need in that moment?
Napping has been proven to be very effective for concentration as long as its around 20 minutes any longer and we can risk feeling groggy and affecting our night time sleep. Only you know what is right for you, if you find that napping is affecting your sleep routine then just reduce it until you feel the benefits.
Turn the clock away from easy viewing
If you wake regularly it can be all too tempting to keep looking at the clock to calculate how much sleep you’ve had and how long until you have to get up. This puts pressure to fall asleep again and actually wakes up the mind to do the calculation. By turning it away when you do wake which is natural during the night just roll over and go back to sleep.
Acceptance that the body takes what it needs
Not everyone needs 8 hours sleep to be able to be rested, allow your body to take what it needs. This will take away the pressure, even if you are just lying there with your eyes closed you are still resting which is great for the mind and body. The average adult needs between 7 - 9 hours sleep a night, a great way to test this is when you wake do you feel rested and refreshed?
Make your bedroom a place of peace and comfort
The bedroom needs be a place of peace and tranquillity, make it as comfortable as possible. Try to keep it clutter free and an enjoyable place to relax. How old is your mattress? Some sleep experts recommend changing your mattress every 7 years. Ask yourself if you are comfortable in your bed? Do you wake up with aches and pains? If you do then maybe its time for a new mattress. This about the amount of light in the room? Is it a place that is easy to fall asleep?
Keep a note pad by the bed
If there is something on your mind or your running through the itinerary for the next week try writing it down on a note pad it will be out of your mind and allow sleep to come.
Learn how to relax
How do you relax without drinking alcohol? Learn what really makes you feel relaxed whether it’s a bath, going to the gym or having a chat with your partner. Falling asleep is not about having no thoughts at all but instead watching them pass by and not chasing them. If you struggle relaxing try an app, some have soothing music or a story and even white noise. There are loads of different apps on the market so finding the right one for you is important.
Healthy Eating and Exercise
Sometimes looking at something as simple as how much we move in the day and what we are eating can have a huge impact on our sleep. Too much sugar can leave us with dips in energy levels but still unable to sleep. Check in with yourself and really be honest about how much exercise you are doing per week? What types of foods are you eating? just by making small changes will have a huge impact on overall health and sleep. Think about how much caffeine you are consuming including fizzy drinks. Set yourself a challenge or no caffeine after 5pm and notice the difference.
We all need a sleep MOT from time to time, keep a journal for a week of what you are eating, drinking and how much exercise you are getting. Record your mood per day and what went on that day. Finally record the time you went to bed, the time you got up and how you feel when you get up, rested or groggy? Now you have done this for 1 week you can see where changes need to be made. Change is not all at once try 1 thing every few days and notice the difference it makes.
I hope that you have found these tips useful in your quest for a restful nights sleep. If you have tried these and are still struggling to sleep it may be that you need someone to talk to about what is going on elsewhere in your life at the moment. Sometimes we all need someone to talk to.