How to get a good night’s sleep – Blogtober Day 5

The average person spends roughly one third of their life sleeping.* Why do we have so much difficulty with it considering we do so much of it? Maybe we’re not great at switching off, I know I’m not! Here are my top tips for a good night’s sleep:

Reduce blue light exposure at night – Switch off the gadgets or at least put them away and unless it’s an emergency, do not check your phone if you wake in the middle of the night.

phone charging beside bed

Take time to wind down – It’s likely you’ll struggle to fall asleep if you’re not taking time to unwind from the stresses of your day. For some people practicing mindfulness or meditation works (though caution should be taken for those who have experienced trauma**), for others it’s reading a book , writing a journal, or listening to music. Find the thing that works for you and go with it.

Avoid heavy meals and caffeine late in the evening – Sleeping on a full stomach can lead to indigestion or generally feeling sick and the caffeine will keep you awake^. I love coffee and have some most days but I’ve learned the hard way that I shouldn’t have it after 5pm!

coffee

Make a sleep schedule – Try your best to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Our bodies quite like routine, going to bed and getting up and different times every day deprives our bodies of the chance to get in to a routine.

No naps in the evening – If you need a nap during the day try to make sure it’s before 3pm and no longer than an hour so it doesn’t disrupt your night time sleep schedule.

Go outdoors – Try to get outside every day and exercise while you’re there. There are lots of ways to fit in a little time outdoors so find one that works for you and your situation. Both exercise and natural light exposure in the day will help you sleep^^. Personally, I find that taking the dog out for a short walk helps, sometimes fresh air and a break from my phone/tablet/laptop is all I need!

people outside

Make your bedroom a place that invites sleep – I think it’s unrealistic to say don’t have a tv in your bedroom because so many people already do but try to switch it off a good hour or two before you need to sleep and do something that doesn’t involve a screen. Ideal sleeping conditions are cool, dark and quiet!

If you don’t fall asleep after twenty minutes of lying in bed get up and go to a different room if you can. Do something relaxing but don’t go on your phone or watch tv! When begin to feel sleepy go back to bed. Lying in bed awake for hours on end isn’t healthy and won’t do you any favours!

 

*www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21056174

**http://trauma-recovery.ca/recovery/mindfulness/

^www.sleepeducation.org/news/2013/08/01/sleep-and-caffeine

^^www.sleep.org/articles/exercise-affects-sleep/

 

Do you sometimes find it difficult to sleep? What helps? Share your tips below!

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