Here are a few useful tips and ideas to help you establish a healthy sleep pattern and routine.
1. Try and adopt a regular sleep pattern. If you can go to sleep and get up at the same time every day this will help set your body’s internal clock and improve the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you’re getting enough sleep you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime. Try to keep to this even at weekends - avoid a lengthy line-in!
2. Exercise. People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.
- The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. Even light exercise—such as walking for just 10 minutes a day—improves sleep quality.
3. Avoid caffeine and watch what you eat! You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems for up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! Similarly, smoking is another stimulant that can disrupt your sleep, especially if you smoke close to bedtime.
Avoid big meals at night. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed.
While a nightcap may help you relax it is always best to avoid alcohol before bedtime as it interferes with your sleep cycle.
4. A relaxing bath before bedtime with the addition of bath salts, bath oils or a few drops of aromatherapy essential oils in your water is also a good way to relax before retiring to bed. Lavender is recommended to help relax and prepare you for a good nights sleep.
5. Scent your bedroom with your favourite candle. This also helps reduce harsh lighting in your room.
A great tip to remember is to keep your room cool, dark and quiet!
6. No electronics before bedtime. Instead, try reading a book or listening to music. Avoid picking up your phone at all costs, once you start scrolling it can be impossible to stop!
7. Create a cosy atmosphere in your room - an enticing bedroom will make going to bed more inviting. Nothing beats jumping into bed with a new fresh set of clean bedding topped with beautiful throws, stylish bedspreads and pillows.
Crisp clean sheets are always a good way help you drift off.
9. Last, but not least and sadly one of the most obvious (possibly after switching off all electronics!) is to keep your pets off the bed! Pets need a good night sleep just like you so instead why not treat them to their very own special bed??!!