In a fast-paced world of commuting, ever improving technology, working longer hours, it is more important than ever before to ensure that when you rest your head at night that you are getting a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep will mean you will wake up refreshed and alert – ready for the day ahead! Most adults need 8 hours of sleep every night in order for them to perform at their best – but these will vary for each person – some people can function perfectly on less and some need more.
Below are some top tips on how you can sleep better:
After the stress and fun of the day’s activities, you may find it hard to ‘switch off.’ In this case you may find it useful to write down your worries, a list for tomorrow or try reading a book and taking a hot bath.
You will need to create a regular sleep routine, making sure you go to bed the same time every night. If you are going to bed at the same time every night, you will also want to wake up at the same time each morning. Ideally you don’t want an alarm clock to wake you up – your body should be able to do this if you’ve had enough sleep. However make sure you don’t go to bed too early otherwise you’ll be fidgeting all night before you finally doze off! This is going to be difficult to keep up for the weekends when you might be going out in town or want to stay up later to prolong the day but keeping a strict regular sleeping routine is going to help you sleep better and feel more alive the next day!
If you’re feeling sleepy on a particular day, take a nap as opposed to sleeping in for longer as this will not affect your body clock as much. But make sure you don’t nap too long – you don’t want to suffer from insomnia when it is bedtime. Also make sure your room is the right temperature for sleeping. The boilers in the house should be timed to go off before bed so the house is not too warm during the night.
After dinner you may find you become a bit drowsy but if you’re not ready for bed just yet – try and be a bit active – do the washing, fold clothes, call a friend, write a letter (novel I know!)
Don’t eat and then go straight to bed. You need to ensure your stomach isn’t too full just as it shouldn’t be too empty. Ideally you want to go to sleep at least three hours after dinner.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol which can all have a detrimental impact on your sleep patterns. For example caffeine, which take stay in your body for up to 14 hours will actually increase the number of times that you wake up during the night, similar to nicotine but low doses acts more as a sedative. Alcohol initially can make you sleepy but after it is cleared from your system then while you’re sleeping it can disturb your sleep and cause sweating and headaches as well as deep dreaming.
To start getting a good nights sleep, make sure you give yourself one or two weeks to experiment with different times of going to bed and waking up. Try to sleep at the same time each night and don’t put your alarm on – let yourself wake up without one. By doing this you will find out what is the best sleep pattern for you and start to feel refreshed every morning you wake up (if you stick to a regular sleeping pattern).