1 in 5 of us don't get enough sleep - if that's you, here are 8 good ways to improve your sleep with simple tweaks to your bedtime routine
Do You Need More Sleep?
1 in 5 of us are not getting enough. So here are 8 helpful tips to help you get a better night's sleep with a few simple tweaks to your bedtime routine.
1. LIGHT - our bodies are ruled by our circadian rhythm, we're hardwired to be awake when it's light and asleep when it's dark. Make sure you are getting at least 2 hours of sunshine or bright electric light every day. This is why screens are so bad for our sleep cycle as the blue light they emit makes us think we should be awake. Get an app that cuts out the blue light or glasses that do the same - or turn them off at least an hour before bed.
2. DARK - so it follows logically that we need our bedrooms as dark as possible to get really restful sleep, get blackout blinds and cover all those little standby lights and that light up clock.
3. TEMPERATURE - Your bedroom should be nice and cool 16-18 degrees max.
4. EXERCISE - however tired our minds are we can't sleep well unless our bodies are tired too.
5. FOOD - everyone knows that a heavy meal before bed is a bad idea but there are some foods that are helpful vitamin B6 (found in fish) is needed to make melatonin the sleep hormone.Lack of calcium can make it harder to fall asleep which may be why milk is such a good bedtime drink ( no chocolate though as it contains caffeine -boo, hiss.)
6. DRINK - coffee and alcohol both make it harder to sleep. Too much liquid before bed can make for an interrupted night!
7. BEDTIME ROUTINE - try and get to bed at around the same time every night, this stops the body's circadian rhythm from getting confused. Enjoy bedtime! Have a lovely warm bath or shower (or massage if you're lucky) using essential oils to aid in the wind down process. i love SUMMER HAZE as it is so relaxing. listen to some mellow music or read a gentle book (no self improving at bedtime, just chilling). Make sure you have a comfy bed and sleepwear and if your partner snores get earplugs- they certainly saved my marriage!
8. STOP - if thoughts are rushing through your head and every worry is competing for your attention and you think you'll never sleep again - just stop. Get up, walk around do something for 15 mins or so and then go back to bed.