Sleep well - be well

Review, reflect and make positive changes to your day-to-day routine to help you improve your sleep.

Blog Article | By Simplyhealth | Published: 5 March 2021 | Clinically reviewed: 24 February 2023

We all need the right amount of sleep to be at the top of our game. On average, healthy adults need 7-9 hours’ sleep for their bodies to carry out essential maintenance and housekeeping. Over time, sleep deprivation can have implications on your health as your mind and body begin to act unusually. Here at Simplyhealth, we want to share some top tips to help you achieve a better night’s sleep and support your overall wellbeing. 

Man sat at laptop and yawning

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep? 

Your mind: sleeping badly can impact your ability to concentrate or think clearly. It can also result in mood swings and feelings of irritability.1

Your body: a poor night’s sleep can make you feel tired the next day. Lengthy periods of poor sleep can impact your day-to-day life, such as finding it difficult to maintain a social life and struggling to perform everyday tasks1. Your risk of weight gain increases over longer periods as fatigue means you eat for comfort and exercise less.2

Man lying awake in bed whilst partner is asleep

Why can’t you sleep well?

You’re not alone. Sleep issues are experienced by 40% of adults and children3 and there’s a multitude of possible reasons why. Mental health can play a big part, alongside musculoskeletal issues (not to mention how the land of Nod can turn upside down when a new baby arrives).

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. 

Sleep diary app on a smartphone screen

Interactive sleep diary

This interactive sleep diary is designed to help you identify patterns in your daily routine, such as your caffeine and alcohol intake, bedtime routine and sleeping environment, which may affect your sleep. The diary features 4 weeks’ worth of diary pages, including questions about how your day was, followed by your night’s sleep that followed. Once completed, you'll have the opportunity to review, reflect and make positive changes to your day-to-day routine to help you improve your sleep.

Support from Simplyhealth

Our health plans offer a range of resources and services to help our customers look after their everyday wellbeing, including support for sleep issues. The below support is accessible via the myWellbeing section of their online accounts.

  • A 24/7 advice and counselling helpline, available to provide in the moment emotional support for those who may be struggling to cope with the impact that lack of sleep is having on their everyday life.
  •  A 24/7 online video GP service. GPs are on hand to listen and offer guidance on next steps to help improve sleep, or any other health concerns.
  •  Tools and resources from our advice and counselling helpline provider Health Assured, including a range of 4 week programmes, webinars, and other literature to support and provide advice on topics such as sleep.
  • Parts of these services are provided by a Third Party Supplier.

The 1-2-3 Health Plan

To enjoy 24/7 online GP access and much more, get our 1-2-3 Health Plan from just £10 a month.

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