The failure to get a good night’s sleep is a problem that affects millions in the UK alone. And failing to do so can have serious health consequences. Thus it is important for us all that we try and get as much as we can. Moolr takes a look at how to get a great night’s sleep.
Going to sleep and getting up at the same times each day can really help to improve the quality of your sleep. A routine is important for your body.You need to find your natural sleep-wake cycle and stick to it, even at weekends. If you keep waking up with your alarm feeling very tired, try going to bed a little earlier. Every person has a 24 hour body cycle, and should try and adjust to it to get the best sleep. The cycle shifts with age, hence why teenagers sleep in later!
If you have trouble falling asleep when you go to bed, it might be because you’re not giving yourself time to relax. Avoid the temptation of looking at your phone or thinking about what’s coming tomorrow or the stresses of the day that’s been. Read a book, listen to some relaxing music, or have a bath. The best option for me is to listen to podcasts in bed. The spoken word relaxes my brain, shuts out the world, and I am usually asleep before the podcast ends.
Drinking a lot of caffeine during the day, such as coffee and energy drinks, can interrupt your sleep even if you don’t drink it close to bedtime. Alcohol has a similar effect, despite the tradition of a nightcap before bed, so try to limit your intake. We have all slept well after a lot of alcohol, but the fact you are asleep does not mean it is quality sleep. Your body is not refreshing itself.
This might seem obvious, but so many of us sleep on mattresses that are too firm or too soft. If you wake up with an aching neck or back, you should try different pillows or toppers, or get a new mattress if yours is getting old and not supporting you properly. It took me years just to find the right pillow. I felt guilt at spending £500 on a mattress when I had little money. However, I realised that I spend a third of my life on that mattress. And also I understood the importance of quality sleep on my health.
The more active you are during the day, the better you’ll sleep at night. Just going for a walk in the early evening can help to improve sleep when you go to bed, but staying active and doing exercise during the day is even better.