How To Get A Good Nights Sleep
16 Apr 2018
How To Get A Good Nights Sleep
Some of us may find it harder to sleep than others at night whether that is just getting to sleep or staying asleep. This can be for many reasons such as stress, overthinking, drinking too much caffeine, and many other factors which can contribute towards difficulty sleeping. However there are ways in which you can avoid not being able to sleep by following the simple steps below listed in this article.
- Increased bright light exposure during the day
- Keeping regular sleep hours
- Cut down on caffeine
- Reduce irregular or long day time naps
- Create a good sleeping environment
- Regular Exercise
- Quit Smoking
- Don't Drink Alcohol
- Don't eat before bedtime
- If you can't sleep get up
- Try to relax before going to bed
- Put your worries aside
Increased bright light exposure during the day- Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it's time to sleep. Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as night time sleep quality and duration. You can achieve this by getting daily sunlight exposure or, if this is not practical, invest in an artificial bright light device or bulbs. Daily sunlight or artificial bright light can improve sleep quality and duration, especially in those with severe sleep issues or insomnia.
Keeping regular sleep hours- Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you're likely to feel tired and sleepy.
Cut down on caffeine- When caffeine is consumed late in the day, the stimulation of your nervous system may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. Caffeine can stay elevated in the blood for 6–8 hours. Therefore, drinking large amounts of coffee after 3–4 p.m. is not recommended, especially if you are caffeine sensitive or have trouble sleeping. Cut down on caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks or colas, especially in the evening. Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep, and also prevents deep sleep. Instead, have a warm, milky drink or herbal tea.
Reduce irregular or long day time naps- Long or irregular napping throughout the day can negatively affect your sleeping pattern. Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal body clock, meaning you may struggle to sleep at night. The effects of daytime naps depend on the individual, if you have trouble sleeping at night, stop napping or shorten your naps.
Create a good sleeping environment- Your bedroom should be a peaceful place for rest and sleep. Temperature, lighting and noise should be controlled so that your bedroom environment helps you to fall (and stay) asleep. If you have a pet that sleeps in the room with you, consider moving it somewhere else if it often disturbs you in the night. Make sure your bed is comfortable including your mattress and pillows.
Regular Exercise- Moderate exercise on a regular basis in the morning or early afternoon, such as jogging, running, swimming or walking, can help relieve some of the tension built up over the day. Make sure that you don't do vigorous exercise, such as running or the gym, too close to bedtime, though, as it may keep you awake.
Quit Smoking- Nicotine is a stimulant. Smokers take longer to fall asleep, they wake up more frequently, and they often have more disrupted sleep.
Don’t Drink Alcohol- Avoid drinking alcohol before bed, as it can reduce night time melatonin production and lead to disrupted sleep patterns. Drinking a couple of drinks at night can negatively affect your sleep and hormones. Alcohol is known to cause or increase the symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleep patterns. It also alters night time melatonin production, which plays a key role in your body's circadian rhythm.
Don’t eat before bedtime- Late night eating can negatively impact both sleep quality and the natural release of growth hormone and melatonin. Consuming a large meal before bed can lead to poor sleep and hormone disruption as well as digestion problems.
If you can’t sleep get up- If you can't sleep, don't lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then go back to bed. If lack of sleep is persistent and affecting your daily life, make an appointment to see your GP.
Try to relax before going to bed- Have a warm bath, as a warm bath, shower or foot bath can help you relax and improve your sleep quality. You can even listen to some quiet music or do some gentle stretches to relax your mind and body.
Put your worries aside- If you tend to lie in bed thinking about everything you have to do tomorrow, set aside time before bedtime to make plans for the next day. The aim is to avoid doing these things when you're in bed, trying to sleep.