SLEEP: Are You Getting Enough?
Top 10 tips for getting a better night sleep…
In our busy, often stressful and technology-filled lives, sleep problems are becoming more and more prevalent. Sleep is so crucial to our overall health, self-healing and regulatory mechanisms and wellbeing.
Here are our top 10 tips to getting a better night sleep!
1. Stick to a schedule
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.
2. Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment
Create a sleep-inducing environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
3. Create a soothing pre-sleep routine
Ease the transition from wake time to sleep time with a period of relaxing activities an hour or so before bed. Take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), read a book, watch television, or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities—doing work, discussing emotional issues.
If you must use a lap-top or tablet at night, install f.lux. This is great software that makes the colour of your screen adapt to the time of day… warm at night and like sunlight during the day. It’s free and you can download it here.
4. Pay attention to what you eat
Finish dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause indigestion. If you get hungry at night, snack on foods that (in your experience) won’t disturb your sleep, perhaps dairy foods and carbohydrates.
5. …And drink
Drink enough fluid at night to keep from waking up thirsty—but not so much and so close to bedtime that you will be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol directly before bed as these too can affect your sleep routine.
6. Get comfortable – mattress and pillow
Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. Since the features of good bedding are subjective, choose what feels most comfortable to you. Here are some links to good mattresses and pillows…
7. Use light to your advantage
Natural light keeps your internal clock on a healthy sleep-wake cycle. So let in the light first thing in the morning and get out of the office for a sun break during the day.
8. Manage stress
When you have too much to do and too much to think about, your sleep is likely to suffer. To help restore peace to your life, consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with the basics, such as getting organised, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one. Before bed, jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.
9. Include physical activity in your daily routine
Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. Timing is important, though. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energised to fall asleep. If this seems to be an issue for you, exercise earlier in the day.
10. Follow up with your GP
Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you deserve.