I think we all know by now the importance of a great night sleep. It makes you feel better, that’s a fact, but its importance goes beyond just boosting your mood or banishing those pesky under eye circles. A great nights sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and much more. In my opinion sleep isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity, so I’ve teamed up with Adjustable Beds UK to come up with some top tips to getting a great nights sleep.
Stick to a schedule
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. But if you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing and go back to bed when you’re tired. If you stress over falling asleep you could ultimately find it harder to nod off.
Create a bedtime ritual
Get into the habit of doing the same things each night as a way of telling your body it’s time to wind down. This could be taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights down low. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the switch between wakefulness and drowsiness.
Watch your diet
Don’t go to bed too hungry, or too stuffed for that matter, the discomfort this can cause could keep you up at night. You should limit how much you drink before bed too, to prevent those disruptive middle of the night trips to the toilet. Also the stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can cause havoc on good quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Limit screen time
This one is hard for someone like me who is a self confessed social media addict but it’s so important to limit screen time in the hours leading up to bedtime. TV programmes are entertaining and stimulate our brain, not what we need when we’re trying to wind down. Plus screens emit light which tricks our brain into thinking it’s still daytime which in turn contributes to insomnia. So instead of scrolling through Facebook try picking up a good old fashioned paperback and enjoy some light reading.
Cut out daytime naps
If you’re a parent then you may be wondering how on earth people have time to nap during the day. But there are some lucky people out there who manage to achieve this. Long daytime naps can mess with night time sleep — especially if you’re already struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night. If you do get a chance to nap during the day (you lucky thing) limit yourself to 30 minutes and make it during the mid-afternoon.
Regular physical activity can aid better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and deeper. Timing is important though – if you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too hyped up to fall asleep, so try to do it a few hours before you go to bed.
One of the most important things for me when it comes to a dreamy nights sleep is comfort. Making sure you have the right bed, mattress, pillows and duvet are essential to helping you feel as snug as a bug in a rug.
I make every effort to get the recommended 8 hours sleep per night, if I don’t I get irritable, emotional and short tempered. When I’m juggling work, home life and a teething baby this isn’t ideal. Luckily my husband agrees and often lets me have a much needed lay-in on a weekend – after all, a happy wife makes for a happy life!