Can't sleep? Feeling tired? Heard the phrase ‘sleep hygiene’?
'Sleep hygiene' essentially means focussing on the factors which contribute to you having a restful night's sleep. Those factors include environmental factors, habits and behaviours that can be implemented easily, and results seen quickly.
We all know how beneficial a good night's sleep is for our mind, body and soul. But how often do you get a truly good night’s sleep?
If the answer is “not enough”, then read on to discover some simple ways to get a restful night’s sleep.
The importance of sleep
Sleep is the time when important restorative and strengthening processes occur throughout the body. Poor sleep can directly affect your mental health and contribute towards anxiety, stress and depression.
A good night’s sleep has benefits for your whole body including your heart and brain, with effects such as improved mood, memory, and reasoning.
Top tips for a restful night’s sleep
Establish a sleep schedule: Weekend sleep warriors be warned - cramming in more sleep on certain days can be detrimental to your health. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including the weekends.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine consumption: Starting in the late afternoon avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks and nicotine.
Expose yourself to bright light in the morning: This helps kick start your body's natural circadian rhythm and sets the tone for the rest of the day and night. Avoiding naps during the day also ensures your nocturnal sleep cycle is not disturbed.
A sleep sanctuary: Your bedroom should be sleep exclusive! Minimise screen time by keeping mobile phones, laptops, and consoles out. Create a dark, comfortable, quiet and cool bedroom to aid you to drift blissfully into a restful sleep.
Feeling peckish during the night? Don’t go to bed feeling hungry but be mindful that eating a heavy meal before bed is also going to disrupt sleep. Keep it light before bed. Schedule bedtime at least 2-3hours hours after a meal.
Make time to exercise: Exercising regularly during the day ensures you have burnt off excess energy and feel tired when it is bedtime.
Managing worries: Realising what is keeping you awake may help in minimising its impact on your sleep. Setting priorities, getting organised, delegating tasks, and writing down your concerns can all help in managing your worries.
Relaxing routine: Our bodies love routine. Having set times for meals and a structured bedtime routine will all help your body to develop good sleep hygiene. Bathing, meditation, and music are some ideas to include in your routine before bed.
Quality over quantity: Other factors besides age can also influence how much sleep you need. For example, illness, pregnancy, and constant interruptions in your sleep may warrant needing more sleep. However, having quality sleep will always out-weigh large quantities of interrupted sleep. People whose sleep problems persist despite their best efforts can contact us at The London House of Wellbeing for advice. We have an in-house nutritionist who can advise on foods, supplements and teas which can aid you in your sleep hygiene journey. We also can refer you to our GPs who can advise further investigations if required. +44 (0) 202 733 0932 www.thehouseofwellbeing.co.uk