Sleep. We all do it, some better than others. We all know a good night’s rest is essential to a healthy life, protecting you physically and mentally as well as keeping your fresh and functioning! Unfortunately, many of us struggle to fall asleep, lay awake all night thinking and can’t wake up in the morning and then feel constantly tired!
“Sleep plays a significant role in healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels. It helps us maintain a healthy weight and a good balance of hormones, as well as controlling sugar levels. In terms of mental health, a great night’s sleep makes the brain work properly. It helps us to learn, remember, solve problems and make decisions, as well as safeguarding against stress, mood swings and depression. It’s rather worrying that the majority of people don’t sleep very well!”
Fortunately, there are many practical ways to improve your sleeping habits. Here are my top tips!
If you’re having trouble sleeping, one of the first things to consider is your bedroom. Most of us fail to keep the bedroom as a safe space for sleep. Allowing Phones, Tablets and Tvs into this space.
It’s relatively easy to transform your bedroom into a space that encourages a peaceful night’s sleep.
- Our circadian rhythms like the dark, when it is bedtime make sure you block out the light either with blackout curtains or an eye mask. Zara home do some super pretty ones
- Maintain an ambient temperature in your room. If you’re too hot or too cold, you won’t sleep soundly. The ideal temperature for sleep is around 16-18° C (60-65° F).
- Say no to technology in the bedroom! That means avoiding televisions and computers. Having access to these will urge you to switch on when you can’t drift off, which in turn can lead to even more disturbed sleep.
- LED displays in your bedroom can be enough light to disturb you. When it’s time for bed, switch off your mobile phone, tablet, and swap any digital alarm clocks for ones without a light display.
- Avoid treating your bedroom like an extension of the rest of your house. That means you shouldn’t use it for work, watching TV, eating, and even talking on the phone. Save the bedroom for sleep and sex. After all no one likes biscuit crumbs in bed!
- Take the time to really consider your bedroom. Realise that you have a duty of care to yourself, and should therefore create a sleep area that’s as effective as possible. Boost your wellbeing by making your bedroom more sleep-friendly – you’re worth it!
If you are like me you have spent the night on an awful hotel bed. Waking up with aches and pains is not what we are looking for and a supportive sleeping set up can be a game changer. The right mattress can make a huge difference between a restful and restless night, saving you from fatigue and irritability for the rest of the day. I will cover optimal sleep set ups in a coming post.
There’s a huge amount of choice on the bed market, which can make selecting the right one difficult. It’s always worth doing your research!
Preparing for bed and The 20 Minute Rule
We should all go to bed when we’re tired but most of us fight on for the extra episode on Netflix – turn it off 20mins before bed. Getting a bedtime ritual together prepares you for sleep and allows you to unwind before bed. I will cover bedtime preparation in detail in part 2.
Once you are in bed if you’re not asleep after twenty minutes, it’s recommended that you get up and find another activity to do. This should be quiet and peaceful, and not involve your phone or other digital displays. I like to read a book of short stories and I keep a note book to hand for any ideas of troubles that are keeping me awake. When you feel sleepy again, you should return to bed. The idea of this is method is to build a strong association between bed and sleeping, and eventually you’ll be able to fall asleep quickly.
Subscribe for Part 2!