Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to switch off and get some sleep. We have all experienced sleepless nights where we toss and turn and anticipate the day ahead, or overthink the past. In this article, we have provided some top tips on sleep hygiene and what you can do to rest better.
Have a good sleep routine
Having a regular sleep routine can help to improve your sleep. This means having a regular schedule you stick to each night to start winding down and relaxing.
Going to sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning can help your body fall into a natural rhythm. This will combat tiredness through the day as you are working with your body clock and not against it.
Reduce Blue Light Exposure
Blue light can fool the body into thinking it is day time and cause irregular sleep patterns.
Blue light comes from TV screens, laptops, phones and other similar devices. It is recommended that you should retire all screens for at least 1 hour leading up to going to sleep. There are blue light filters you can put on devices to help your eyes, however it is better not to use them before trying to sleep.
Instead of using devices, try reading or journaling before bed instead.
Relax in the Bath or Shower
Taking a bath/shower before bed is not only good for cleaning off the day, it helps unwind your mind and relaxes your muscles and joints. It can be a good self-care after a long day.
There are also bath salts and calming shower gels which could also aid you into getting ready to sleep such such as lavender scented products.
Reduce Caffeine Intake throughout the Day
Caffeine may give you a good buzz of energy throughout the day, however too much can hinder you getting a good night's sleep.
Whether it is energy drinks, coffee, tea or fizzy drinks with caffeine in, try and reduce how much caffeine you consume through the day. You do not have to cut it out completely, however the less you have the better your sleep will be.
Try switching tea/coffee out for decaffeinated alternatives or try herbal teas. Some herbal tea can actually help you, relax, such as chamomile, valerian root and lavender.
Sometimes there is a lot of thoughts racing through our minds, which can make it very difficult to drift off to sleep. A good way to calm these thoughts is through meditation. This doesn't always mean sitting cross legged on the ground. It means centering your thoughts and focusing on slowing down your breathing.
Get yourself into a comfortable position in a quiet place. Breath in slowly and count to five, then breath out and count to five. If you do repeat this for a few minutes it will help focus your brain and relax. This could be a great exercise to do once you are in bed.
We hope that some of these tips will help you to drift off to sleep easier.
Ultimately it is very important to relax yourself and leave any worries or pressing issues you may have out of your bedroom so you can rest easy.
If you would like any further advice or information, please visit the NHS Every Mind Matters website where there is videos and more help and support for people who suffer with insomnia or other sleep problems.