2nd Sep 2015
4 Top Tips for a Good Night's Sleep
We all know that sleep makes you feel good; it leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. But the importance of sleep goes much deeper than that. Sleep is the time in which your mind processes the day’s events, without this valuable time your memory, learning, decision-making, problem solving and happiness will be severely affected. Sleep deficiency is also linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and more. An average adult needs between 6 and 9 hours sleep a night. Any less than this can lead to a number of health problems, both short and long term.
So, if you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, here are our top 4 tips to get you tucked up and sailing off to the land of nod.
Routine and Ritual
Programming your internal clock with a natural sleep/wake cycle is probably the best thing you can do for your health. This technique involves getting into a regular routine of waking up and going to bed at similar times every day, avoiding daytime naps and avoiding heavy, sugary or high-carb meals less than 3 hours before bed. Sticking to this routine is key to success with this technique, but it is nice and natural and works very well.
Learning methods that will help you to relax is another great way to wind down before bed. Here are a few of our favourite techniques:
- Have a warm (not hot) bath before bed – this helps your body to reach an ideal temperature to sleep. The bath will bring your body temperature up, and as your body temperature cools you will naturally drift off to sleep.
- Practice some basic meditation and yoga. Light exercise and stretches will relax your muscles and meditation, such as breathing exercises, will help to clear your mind.
- Make a to-do list. One of the main causes we hear of people struggling to sleep is having things playing on their mind. Writing a to-do list, or just writing down what is on your mind is a good method of letting them go.
Make your bedroom a "sleep zone"
Many studies show links between aural and retinal stimulation and insomnia. You guessed it; this means no TVs in the bedroom. You should associate your bedroom with sleep – any lights, noises, a bad mattress, can ruin this distinction and make you associate your room with wakefulness. Optimise the environment; it should be cool, dark and quiet. If you’re often too hot in bed, try a cooling mattress topper, or a higher quality duvet set.
Keep a sleep diary
If you are regularly having trouble sleeping, keeping a sleep diary can help you rumble those bad habits or experiences that are causing you to stare at the ceiling all night. The kinds of questions you should ask yourself are:
- How long did you take to get to sleep?
- How many times did you wake up in the night?
- How long did you sleep for?
- How do you feel today? Rested? Tired?
- Did you consume any caffeine/alcohol yesterday?
- Are you worried or stressed about something?
- Did you exercise yesterday? What did you do and when?