How to sleep better

09th February 2018

The quality and quantity of our sleep has a profound impact on how we feel during the day. It’s natural to suffer an occasional restless night, but persistent sleep problems can leave us feeling low, lethargic, irritable and more susceptible to long-term health issues. Serious sleep issues should always be referred to a doctor, but here are a few tips to help with occasional bouts of sleeplessness.


1. Stick to a schedule.

Try to maintain similar sleep patterns, with the same bedtime and wake up time, even at the weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.

2. Get active!

Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. You can exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep, and preferably not within an hour of going to bed.

3. Breakfast like a King, dine like a pauper.

Try to avoid stimulants in the evening. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can all disrupt sleep, and eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. If you can, avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.

4. Toasty toes.

Some people have the unlucky lot in life of colder-than-comfortable extremities. But having warm hands and feet seems to predict how quickly you'll fall asleep. Speed up the process by pulling on a pair of clean socks before climbing into bed.

5. Keep the lights low.

Dim the lights and turn off all your devices -- smartphones, laptops, TVs, all of which belong outside the bedroom – in preparation for sleep. Bright light is one of the biggest triggers to our brains that it’s time to be awake and alert, so start sending the opposite signal early. Make use of your smartphone’s ‘Night-time’ option to reduce the amount of blue light emitted.

6. Don’t toss and turn.

If you can't sleep, get up, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. Laying there, thinking about the rest you are missing will only make the problem worse, whereas getting up will distract your brain. Making lists of anything you are worrying about can help to clear your mind, leaving you more likely to ready to return to bed for a better night’s sleep.

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