10 tips for a better bedtime

10 tips for a better bedtime

Dragging yourself out of bed can sometimes feel like an impossible task – especially if you’re already not a great sleeper.

A study by the UK Sleep Council has found that 40% of us suffer with sleep issues and ‘how to get to sleep’ has become one of the most searched for health questions.

With increasingly busy lifestyles, prioritising the recommended seven to nine hours of rest can be easier said than done. But just like regular exercise and a healthy diet, getting enough sleep is essential to our health.

That’s why ‘Sleep Hygiene’ is the new bedtime buzzword you need to know. It’s about building healthy sleep habits into your bedroom routine which will help you rise and shine in the morning.

Here are ten tips to help get you started.

1. Sleep at regular times

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps your body clock get into a routine – make sure to pick a time when you usually feel tired.

It can be difficult to maintain your sleep schedule over the weekend, but you should try to go to bed and wake up at a similar time to usual to avoid messing with your sleeping pattern.

2. Set the scene

Make sure lighting in your room is dimmed before settling down and aim for a room temperature of around 20C.

It’s also key to get your body ready for bed. Try having a warm bath or shower, or making yourself a milky drink – doing this at a set time can help signal to your brain that it’s time for sleep.

3. Stay hydrated

Dehydration can have a negative impact on sleep so it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This could help prevent late night headaches and discomfort!

However, don’t drink lots of water just before bed as this could cause you to wake up needing the toilet – we recommend reducing fluid consumption an hour or two before bedtime.

4. Block out noise and light

If you’re being woken up by light shining through your blinds or curtains, fitting a blackout blind or thicker curtains could help.

It’s also important to make sure you aren’t being woken up by noises during the night. It could be worth using earplugs if you’re a light sleeper!

5. Keep active

As little as 30 minutes of exercise can improve your sleep quality. Exposure to sunlight also helps release melatonin – a natural hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle.

Simply going for a walk during the day could help when it comes to trying to sleep at night, although intense exercise just before bed could have the opposite effect.

6. Limit your nap

While a short nap can provide you with as much energy as two strong cups of coffee, napping for a long time or too late in the day can make it harder to fall asleep.

If you need the extra rest, try not to nap after 2pm and limit it to 20 to 30 minutes – this should help you to feel more alert without disrupting your sleep schedule.

7. Avoid caffeine

The effects of caffeine can last for up to 12 hours, so limit your cup of tea or coffee to the morning. Energy and fizzy drinks can also keep you awake if consumed in the evenings.

Instead, drink tap water. It won’t cause sleepless nights and is a great way to naturally boost concentration and energy levels.

8. Tune out

Turn off your phone and finish watching TV about an hour before bed. Electronic devices emit blue light which can keep you awake and alert.

Try charging your phone away from your bedroom or setting it to dark mode – you could even wind down with a book or a meditation to help you relax.

9. Create a relaxation haven

It can be tempting to use your bedroom as a place for studying or talking on the phone, but it’s vital your bedroom becomes a space where you relax and sleep.

A comfortable bed is also extremely important. Don’t let a poor-quality mattress or pillow stop you from having a good night’s sleep.

10. Don’t watch the clock

When you’re struggling to sleep, do you constantly check your phone or alarm clock to see how many hours you have left in bed? If so, it’s probably a good idea to stop!

This can lead to anxious thoughts and put more pressure on you to fall asleep which can end up keeping you awake. Put your phone or alarm clock out of sight so that it doesn’t distract you.

Written by

Lauren East

Social Media Manager

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