Good quality sleep is fundamental to our optimal health and wellbeing. Yet, so many people suffer from lack of it. Not getting the rest we need impacts us in so many ways, from a difficulty to concentrate, poor memory to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, or even an increased risk of weight gain.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for sleep and improve the quality of your sleep:
Have a routine - Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (within 30 minutes), even at the weekend. This helps to set your internal clock and optimises the quality of sleep.
Learn to relax - Whether it is listening to relaxing music, reading a book, practice meditation or mindfulness, have a nice relaxing bath or do gentle stretching exercises, find something that helps you relax before bedtime and make it part of your routine.
Write a "journal" - If you have a lot on your mind, if you are worried or preoccupied in some way, find some time in the evening to write in down. Don't bother yourself with style or whether it would make good reading. Just let it flow out of your mind. Once it is done, close the book and forget about it.
Get regular exercise - Aim to have at least 30 minutes of exercise outdoors every day, even if it is simply walking.
Plan the next day - Whether you like to write a to-do list or not, set aside time in the evening to plan for the next day. Perhaps just before or after dinner but avoid doing so just before going to bed. That way you can relax and let go for the rest of the evening.
Limit screen time - Avoid using phones, tablets or computers 2 hours before going to bed.
Reduce stimulants - Stop caffeine intake by 2pm and cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs as these can trigger wakefulness at night and pull you out of the deep, restorative stages of sleep
If you can't sleep, get out of bed - Your bed should not be a battleground. Instead, try to enjoy the sensation of merely resting doing something restful you enjoy.
The coronavirus pandemic has certainly changed the way we live our everyday lives. It has affected many of our daily routines, and one of its biggest reported impacts has been that on sleep – sleep becomes more elusive when we are anxious. Many people are suffering sleep issues for the first time in their lives:…
Free Sleep Audio
If you find yourself having difficultly falling asleep, try listening to this short audio recording at bed time, or use it when you want to unwind.