Getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes feel next to impossible. In order to ensure your bedtime ritual is working in your favour we’ve compiled some top tips so that you can sleep soundly.
Routine is key when setting yourself up for a goodnight’s sleep. Your bedtime ritual teaches your brain to become familiar with sleep times and wake times. This ritual will help you programme your internal body clock to get used to a routine and create a low stress environment near bedtime. The development of this routine can be hard for some with the varying commitments we face day to day, whether that be family or work worries. Making sure you get the six to nine hours you need every night will transform how you approach these worries and will ultimately give you peace of mind.
To get yourself into a successful sleep routine you need to teach yourself to wind down. There are simple and effective ways to make your body ready for rest. Running a warm bath will help your body to reach an optimum temperature so that as you’re cooling down your body will be ready for sleep.
Sometimes even though your body is ready for sleep your mind isn’t. In order to de-clutter your thoughts write a to-do list so that they seem more manageable. Gentle exercise, such as Yoga or tai chi, helps to gently stretch muscles and get rid of any day time pressures you may have built up. This winding down can also be achieved through the use of massage pads, which soothes your muscles ready for sleep.
The four o’ clock pick me up you’re having could be costing you a good night’s sleep. Make sure you stop all caffeine intake by midday so that your body has chance to get rid of it from your system. Having a coffee or sugary drink before bed can be just as damaging to your sleep pattern as a prolonged nap in the afternoon. It’s not just coffee that could be damaging your routine; be sure to check the labels of your favourite drinks to see what the caffeine intake is - even things such as peach tea contain caffeine.
The technological noise we surround ourselves with in modern life is not only distracting but also damaging to a healthy sleep environment. Make sure you’re giving your body the best chance it has at sleep happiness by removing any TVs or computers from your sleeping space. If this is hard to achieve living in a small space then make sure all stand-by lights are covered, so that your eye isn’t drawn to anything in the dark.
Central to you having a happy night’s sleep is a bed that responds to your body. Making sure it is adjustable and supportive means that your body and your mind will rest happy. Pillows also play an important part in your sleep pattern. Waking up with a stiff neck can be attributed to an unsupportive pillow. Making sure your neck is in a neutral position creates a solid foundation for you to achieve a restful night. Lighting also plays a pivotal role in your sleep routine. When lights are dimmed the brain produces melatonin, the brain’s hormone for sleep. In order to make sure this happens start dimming the lights around your home two to three hours before bedtime, it will help gear your body towards sleep.
If you’re finding the simpler techniques for an easy night’s sleep aren’t producing any noticeable changes then perhaps the problem is a deeper rooted one. To try to understand what your brain is processing, keep a diary and ask yourself some of these questions:
How long did it take you to get to sleep?
How many times did you wake up during the night?
How long were you awake for?
How long did you sleep in total?
Did you take any sleeping tablets?
How well do you feel today?
How enjoyable was your sleep last night?
How much caffeine did you have before and after 5pm?
How much alcohol did you have before and after 5pm?
Did you do any exercise shortly before going to bed?
Did you take any naps during the day or evening?