Top tips on how to sleep well
These low-tech, low-cost tips are intended to help improve your sleep hygiene and open doors to a well-rested and refreshed life. If your sleep problems develop more significant symptoms, these may help – but medical advice may also be advisable.
1. Your bedroom
Give your bedroom a performance review: darkness, quiet and a comfortable temperature delivers the ideal environment. For cost effective aids, think eye masks and ear plugs.
2. Your lifestyle
A daily routine jam-packed with positive habits, will really pay off when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep: fresh air, natural light, physical exercise as well as regular sleep patterns will all contribute to better sleep.
3. Your worries
A clear mind equals a better night’s sleep: avoid trying to block out thoughts (which can come back to bite you). Instead write a list of what’s on your mind or talk your problems out before your head hits the pillow.
4. Your diet
There are red flags to avoid for optimum sleep: caffeine is notorious for keeping you awake and should be off-limits at least five hours before your bedtime5 (night-workers especially should carefully consider the timings of their caffeine intake during their shifts).
Alcohol may make it easier for you to fall asleep, but as a result your time asleep is less effective6.
5. Your wind-down
Your pre-bed routine needs to be tailored to your own state of mind: some people find a warm bath, gentle yoga or meditation relaxing, whilst others swear by an embargo on phones, screens and news reports. The main thing is to find what works for you and stick to it.
Sleep diary: If you want to improve your sleep, try keeping a diary to help keep track of your daily routines and sleeping behaviours. After a couple of weeks, you might just uncover some habits or activities which are contributing to your lack of sleep.