Sleep. It can be a real hot topic of conversation can’t it? You may head into work and find that the only thing everyone is talking about is how much sleep they got last night, or else the sheer lack of it for one reason or another. No sleep can be one of the most debilitating things, really affecting how you function and feel. Fact. So I am sure that many of us would like more of it, or certainly a better quality of sleep if we could have it, am I right?
However, not all of us take the right steps in order to make it happen. Sure we might think we do, but there are certain blockers and things that can have a huge impact on our sleep that we don’t even realise. So I thought I would share with you some of the top tips to help you get more sleep at night, or at the very least a more sound sleep. I hope it helps.
Think about your bedtime routine
Children are encouraged to have some sort of bedtime routine. They may have a bath, a warm drink, a bedtime story perhaps and then (all being well!) off they go into the land of nod, peaceful and happy for what can be a solid eleven hours (if you’re lucky!). Us? We are different I guess. While you may not want to have the bath and bed routine, it may be a wise choice to develop your own bedtime routine and a bath can actually be a relaxing part of it. Consider what you do before bed, and try and change things to have a more relaxed approach. Get into comfy clothes, remove all of your make up and spend time on your skincare routine, enjoy a bath or a read a book, or even do both if you want! The idea is that you are getting yourself in the mindset for sleep and to be in a relaxed state.
Is your bedroom environment inviting?
The next thing to consider is your bedroom environment and most importantly the bed. An uncomfortable bed and mattress is not going to give you the peaceful night’s sleep that you are craving. When was the last time you changed your mattress? Some will say a long time or perhaps can’t even remember, so you may want to think about investing in a new one. There are a lot of different mattress options now and you should consider whether choosing a soft, medium, or firm mattress is best for you depending on your personal needs. The best advice would be to try them out in the shop, lie on them and see how you feel. You might also want to consider changing your pillow in the process, as that can also be an important factor for getting a good night’s sleep.
Remember, your bedroom isn’t just your bed though is it? If your room is untidy and messy, or a bit chaotic in terms of decoration then this could also be a mental factor for not getting the right amount of sleep. Try and take the time to change things a little. Paint the walls, minimise and declutter, and cool your room down to a lower temperature. These changes alone could make the world of difference.
Consider your diet
Would you believe that your diet can play a big part in how much you sleep? It isn’t necessarily about what you eat it is more to do with portion size and timings. A big heavy meal at the end of the day right before bed will leave you feeling uncomfortable as your digestive system tries to work from a lay down position. It isn’t going to do you any favours. Try and ensure that heavier meals are eaten earlier in the day and keep things light at night.
What about the things you drink?
I think many of us would agree that a caffeinated drink right before bedtime is possibly going to be a bad idea, just because they are prone to keeping you alert and stimulated. However there is another drink that isn’t normally a good idea either and it may surprise you. Some would associate an alcoholic drink or a “night cap” as a good way of helping you fall asleep. It may give you the earlier signs of that, but alcohol is still a stimulant and you may find that you wake up in the night or at least have unrestful sleep ahead. Avoid caffeine and alcohol if possible and opt for a soothing warm drink.
Putting down the tech before bed
Another stimulant that may surprise you is the use of technology before bed. If you’re anything like me, many of you will be swiping away on your smartphone or tablet in bed before going off to sleep. Checking emails, logging into Facebook, Instagram, or simply reading the latest news headlines. The light from your screen is a natural stimulant to the brain, and won’t help you get to sleep. Instead avoid technology at least an hour before you intend to go to bed to slowly switch your mind off and relax.
Getting an earlier night
It may seem obvious, but if you want more sleep you might want to consider heading to bed a little earlier. Moving your time around to even fifteen minutes earlier can help you relax sooner, and then equally fall asleep quicker, giving you that extra slumber time in peace. You could incorporate it as part of your bedtime routine, so that you get some extra sleep and feel better for it in the morning. I’ve been trying hard to have “lights off” by 10.30pm every night and I can’t tell you how much better I feel for it now I’ve been stricter about my own bedtime!
Other things to try to help aid your sleep
Finally, there are two other things you could try to help prepare your body for a better night’s sleep. Exercise can tire your body, and meditation and yoga can be great in helping you relax your mind and prioritise your thoughts. Meditation before bed can be a great way to switch off from the day and help you relax for sleep.
Do you have any great tips on getting more sleep or a better quality of sleep? I’d love to hear them.