Getting a good night’s sleep is a huge problem for millions of us in the UK. Many of us think there is little we can do about it, and it is what it is. But that is not necessarily the case. Sleep is essential to health, and there are many things you can do to increase your chances of good sleep. Here are some bedtime habits to eradicate.
And the odd other thing! But what many do is watch TV or mess about on their tablet or phone once in bed. By getting their minds active, they reduce the chances of turning off and getting a deep sleep. Do not watch anything before you go to bed if you struggle with sleep. Your body interprets light emitted as daylight. A book is a much better idea.
Who wants to sleep in a messy room? And yet many of us do. If you make your room tidier and more comfortable and alluring, then your sleep may benefit as a result. Fresh bed sheets, light-cancelling curtains and more can all help with your experience in bed.
Nothing distracts more than our phones. And having one close to hand in bed is a very bad idea. So ensure that your phone is out of your reach when you go to bed. It will keep you awake longer, and you do not need it during the night. You may want to keep it out of the room entirely, and use an alarm clock if needed.
It may not surprise to learn that I mean coffee and alcohol. Both will not surprisingly affect your sleep, and not in a good way. Alcohol may see you sleep a long time, but that is of little use if it is not quality, deep sleep. It is not as if you will wake up feeling refreshed and better for it. We all know the effects of caffeine, so try and avoid it for the latter part of the day. In fact the evening should not see any caffeine intake at all. you might even want to consider switching to decaffeinated drinks instead. Some liquids are good though, as you do not want to go to bed dehydrated. This increases the chance of a middle of the night trip to the kitchen.
You need your room to be exactly the right temperature. Naturally this is personal preference, I prefer a very cool room, and will have a window open even in winter. Make sure your bedding is suited to your temperature needs and avoid synthetic materials. Have a fan available for those sticky nights.
The fact is that for many of us getting a good night’s sleep is out of our hands, due to who else is in the bed! So if you have a partner who snores or just tosses and turns, consider the spare room. Especially so if you have an important day ahead of you. It may not be ideal to sleep separately (sometimes), but a good night’s sleep is really important.
If your life is stressful, and you struggle to switch off, consider apps that can help you de-stress. I am thinking of meditation apps, or listening to a gentle voice narrating to you as you nod off. I find podcasts really help me fall asleep.
And if your partner is not keeping you awake, a cat or dog may be. There is no need for them to be in your bed, as there are plenty of other places for them to sleep. You might like having them there, but if they affect your sleep, then you need to make a tough call.
Go to bed tired!