9 SLEEPING TIPS TO HELP YOU
1. Sleep Patterns and Routine
a. Set yourself a constant waking up time every day, including the weekends! Our bodies work best when we give them a constant routine and avoid any startling early alarm clock shocks.
b. Try to wind down and go to bed at the same time every day.
c. Extra ‘catching up’ with lie ins at the weekend will not make up for a lack of sleep during the week, they will often make you feel more sluggish and even harder to wake up at your normal time on a Monday morning.
d. Aim to hit your ideal routine at least 4 times a week.
a. Try not to do vigorous exercise in the 2-3 hours before you go to bed – exercise will raise your body temperature which will make it more difficult to fall asleep.
b. Gentle exercise and breathing techniques can help you relax and calm down before going to bed.
a. Caffeine can take as long as 8 hours to be completely removed from the system, so be aware of when and how much you are consuming.
b. Caffeine is not only found in coffee and tea, be aware it is also in dark chocolate, ice cream, some medications and even de-caffeinated tea and coffee.
a. Alcohol can be sleep inducing, however it will severely reduce the quality of your sleep, keeping you in the much lighter stage of sleep rather than the restorative REM and deep sleep.
b. Other effects of alcohol can be poor breathing and often waking through the night.
5. Food and Drink
a. Extra-large meals close to bed time will make it harder for you to fall asleep and affect the quality of sleep as you continue to digest your meal.
b. Consuming large volumes of liquid late into the evening will also disrupt your sleep, as you will need to wake up to urinate frequently through the night.
a. Late afternoon and early evening naps can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night time particularly if they are longer naps.
b. Naps during the day can positively improve your recovery, even if you don’t completely fall asleep. 30 minutes of calm, restful time away from technology, stress and distractions can help restore your energy and allow your body some recovery time.
7. Embrace the ‘winding down’ process
a. Don’t rush straight in through the door and up to bed, take time to relax and ‘download your day’ before going to sleep.
b. Try to remove technology in the last 30minutes before going to bed, try reading a book, listen to music or take a few minutes to organise things for the next day (pack a bag, get the right clothes out, etc.). Avoid mobile phones, TV, and laptops as you relax towards bed time.
c. Taking a warm bath/ shower as you unwind can help lower your body temperature and make it easier to fall asleep.
a. Make sure your room is dark, and gradually dim the lights around you during your ‘winding down’ time. Use lamps, dimmer lights or candles to help increase feelings of sleepiness.
b. Keep your bedroom cooler than the rest of the house, quality of sleep in cooler environments is better than warm environments.
c. Try to remove as many distractions as possible, a less cluttered and cleaner room will allow you to relax and get to sleep more easily. Keep TV, laptop and mobile phone out of the room when you are sleeping.
d. Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and suitable for your body type.
9. Get Outside
a. Natural daylight is a powerful tool to help your keep to your sleep routine.