If you struggle to nod off at night, you can rest assured you’re not alone. Around one in three Britons fail to get enough sleep. However, the fact that this is a common problem doesn’t mean it’s not serious. Everyone knows that in the short term, a lack of shuteye can cause grumpiness and lapses in concentration. What’s less well known is that poor sleep can put people at greater risk of a range of medical conditions, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
As a rough guide, adults need around eight hours of sleep per night. However, bear in mind this figure does vary from person to person. If you wake up feeling tired and find you want to nap throughout the day, the chances are you’re not getting enough shuteye. Sometimes, people are prevented from getting sufficient sleep by underlying health problems. However, in most cases bad sleeping habits are to blame. If you want to boost your chances of enjoying restful nights, take a look at the following simple but effective tips.
Choose the right bed and mattress
Too often, people put up with poor quality beds and mattresses. Given the importance of these items when it comes to sleeping soundly, it’s vital that you select the most suitable versions for you.
If you find you constantly have to change your body position throughout the night and you can’t get comfortable, it’s worth checking out our range of adjustable orthopaedic beds. These products can be adjusted to suit your precise needs and they are designed to give a restful night’s slumber. They can also help to decrease swelling, reduce back pain and ease tension. In addition, our beds feature a unique and medically-proven cyclo massage therapy system that works to promote relaxation and provide pain relief. Using this system may help you to drift off.
Bear in mind that there’s little point in going to the effort of finding the best possible bed if you then top it with a substandard mattress. When it comes to these sleeping aids, it’s worth getting top-quality versions. For example, AVEON memory foam mattresses feature impressive pocket sprung technology and a top layer of memory foam that moulds to your body shape, offering maximum comfort and support.
Make sure your bedroom’s up-to-scratch
Once you’ve sorted your bed out, it’s time to think about your sleeping environment more generally. If you sleep best in darkness, you might benefit from installing blackout curtains or blinds to keep out light from the sun and any lampposts in your street. Try to make the room as quiet as possible too. If you find you’re kept awake by noises from the street or from within your home, consider using earplugs.
Soothing decor can help too, and try to make sure the space is neither too hot nor too cold at night.
Stick to a routine
Another top tip is to stick to a regular sleeping routine. Going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time each day will help to stabilise your body clock. Lots of people make the mistake of going to bed and getting up much later at the weekends or when they’re not in work, and this can disrupt their sleep patterns.
Watch what you eat and drink
Watching what you eat and drink is a must too. For example, avoid consuming too much caffeine, especially in the later afternoon and evening. Drinks like coffee and tea act as stimulants, making you feel more alert and limiting your ability to relax. Bear in mind that the effects of these beverages can last for up to 24 hours. If you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine, it’s wise to steer clear of these drinks altogether. Herbal teas and malt drinks are good alternatives.
Don’t be tempted to overindulge in alcohol either. While this could help you to fall asleep initially, it may disrupt your slumber later on in the night. Also, bear in mind that eating a large meal close to bedtime can interrupt your sleep patterns.
If you smoke, now could be the time to give up. As well as benefiting your health more generally, quitting cigarettes could enhance your ability to nod off at night. Research has shown that smokers take longer to fall asleep and suffer more disrupted slumber. Scientists from a number of centres and universities across Germany conducted a case control study looking at the impact of smoking on sleep patterns. The team, who published their results in the journal Addiction Biology, found that smokers were more likely to report poor sleep quality.
Get regular exercise
Getting enough exercise can enhance your sleep too. Don’t worry if you’re not up to vigorous gym sessions or pounding the pavements on intensive runs. Moderate exercise, such as swimming, walking and gentle yoga, can help to relieve tension and mean you feel more tired at the end of the day.
Relax before bedtime
Given the frenetic pace of modern life, it can be difficult to find time to relax. However, it’s well worth freeing some time in your schedule to ensure you can relax before you go to bed. For example, having a warm bath, reading a book or listening to quiet music can help to get you in the right frame of mind to nod off. You might also want to try relaxation CDs.
If you’re feeling anxious about the tasks you need to complete the following day, it’s a good idea to write a list of all the things you have to do. Getting this information down on paper can help to ensure it doesn’t race around your mind as you try to nod off.
Don’t put yourself under too much pressure
Following these tips should boost your chances of getting enough shuteye. However, bear in mind that you may still struggle to nod off even when you seem to be doing everything right. The important thing is not to put yourself under too much pressure. If you find can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed worrying about it for hours on end. This can cause your stress levels to rise and make it less and less likely that you’ll fall asleep.
Instead, try getting up and doing something you find relaxing until you start to feel tired again. At this point, return to bed and see if you can fall asleep.