10 Things to Help You Sleep
Getting a good night's sleep is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, helping you feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle anything during the day ahead. This article will run through 10 simple tips to help you sleep, from resisting the temptation to use the computer at night to making sure your body is at just the right temperature for great quality sleep.
10 ways to help you sleep better at night
1. Set a routine. Settle on a regular time both for getting up in the morning and going to bed at night. Although it's tempting to keep pressing the snooze button on your alarm, sticking to a routine will train you to go to sleep every night at around the same time.
2. Have a bath. A warm but not-too-hot bath can help you relax and warm you up – shivering makes for an uncomfortable night. Another trick is to keep a series of thin layers of bedding about as you sleep, so you can easily regulate your temperature and find the right one to nod off.
3. Exercise. Light stretching just before bed will help you wind down and relax. At least 150 minutes of vigorous exercise spread over a week (for example, 30 minutes a day for five days) and nightly stretches are great ways to help you sleep, and will also help you feel more productive and alert during the day. Just remember not to exercise too strenuously before bed, as this can make it difficult to settle down – keep your stretches light and slow.
4. Turn down the lights. Try to avoid too much bright light in the couple of hours before bedtime. One of the simplest ways to help you sleep better is to avoid 'blue light' from technology like phones and laptops, which can keep you awake and interfere with your body clock.
5. Cut the caffeine. It may seem like a sacrifice to cut down on your daily caffeine dose, but switching to decaffeinated coffee or tea after lunchtime will ensure you're not wired when bedtime approaches.
6. Introduce a ritual. Whether it's applying your favourite moisturiser, reading a book for 20 minutes, or drinking a cup of herbal tea, thinking up a nightly ritual to get rid of the stresses of the day is one of the simplest things to help you sleep. Take a look at our article on stress management here for inspiration.
7. Get comfortable. Investigate the different mattress options available to find the right one for you, and if possible, try them out. A good mattress can improve your sleeping posture and make it easier to sleep soundly. Not everyone's preferences are the same, so if you like a really firm mattress while your partner prefers a soft one, you can always try a zip or “link-up” option. This secures two mattresses with different levels of softness together, keeping you both happy!
8. Listen to white noise. This may seem counterintuitive, but listening to a sustained regular noise can actually stop you concentrating on the neighbours talking or your partner's snoring. Listening to a CD that plays the sound of waves or just switching on a fan are both great things to help you sleep better.
9. Write it down. When worries are keeping you up, it can often help to get them all out, either in a simple to-do list or by writing in a journal and getting to the bottom of exactly what's bothering you. Leave your anxieties on paper, knowing you've planned to tackle them the next day.
10. Keep it light. A really big meal just before bed can stop you from getting to sleep easily, so opt for lighter meals in the evening. Another one of the simplest tips to help sleep is to avoid over-imbibing, as alcohol can disrupt your night’s rest.