Getting restful sleep has a huge impact on how you feel. Sometimes sleep feels impossible, but there are simple things you can do that can actually help!
Here are some ways to have better sleep today
- Try to have a regular bedtime and wake up time. A massive irregular sleep schedule affects how well you sleep at night. Try and go to bed and get up at about the same time, including the weekends, if you can.
- Try not to eat 2-3 hours before sleep as digestion can disrupt your sleep and may sometimes cause heartburn.
- Avoid caffeine 3-4 hours before bed. Coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks closer to bedtime will keep you amped, so try and avoid these before sleep.
- Keep the room cool. A cooler room temperature mimics the human body’s natural drop in temperature in sleep. Make sure you’re not too cold though, so layer up when you feel cold.
- Screens can make you think it’s daytime. The blue light on your TV, computer or even your phone can trick your body into thinking it’s daytime. Try and do something else instead of looking at a screen an hour before bed. A good bath or hot shower, or reading a book are good ways to unwind.
- Try white noise. A quiet room is the best for sleep, but sometimes you may live in a place that has a bit of outside noise. White noise or a repetitive, soothing background noise helps with sleep. Examples are the sound of a fan, or a loop recording of rain, the sea or crickets. You can get some of these sleep playlists from Spotify, Apple Music or some sleep apps online.
- If worries keep you up at night, write them down. Once they’re on paper, you can leave it until tomorrow.
- Best time to exercise is in the morning, afternoon or early evening, but not before bed. Exercising before bed increases your body temperature and adrenaline, which can keep you awake. If you feel like moving before bed though, you can do simple, slow, relaxing stretches.
- Make your bed and bedroom as comfortable for you as possible. Have comfortable pillows, sheets and duvet, keep the temperature cool, the noise down and reducing light (even use an eye mask if you can’t control outside light).
Why a good night’s sleep is essential.
- Sleep gives our brains a rest. Sleep is the body’s way to reset our mind and prepare us for the next day of experiences, memories and challenges.
- Sleep helps strengthen and repair our immune system. Sleep helps our body release all the proteins (called cytokines) it needs to fight infection, inflammation and illness. Lack of sleep makes us more susceptible to being sick.
- Lack of sleep causes fatigue. Lack of sleep contributes to fatigue, tiredness and affects our ability to concentrate and make decisions during the day.