According to studies, we spend around a third of our lives sleeping, so why do so many of us wake up without feeling refreshed? If the sound of your alarm fills you with dread and you stumble around in a daze every morning, it may be worth considering a change to your sleep habits. Without even realizing it, you could be leaving yourself sleep deprived. Following a few simple tips could help you get a better quality of sleep, leaving you more awake and alert and ready to face the day.
Top 10 Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep
1) Most adults need to be sleeping in their beds for around 7 – 9 hours a night, yet we frequently stay up much later than we should and don’t get the recommended amount of sleep we need. Set a regular bedtime that allows enough time for sleep before the alarm goes off; this makes waking up at the right time in the morning much easier.
2) It will take at least three days to catch up with the amount of sleep you actually need, so don’t be tempted to lie in bed on the weekends. If you do happen to have a late night on a Friday or Saturday, don’t try to catch up the following morning, as your sleep pattern will be out until the middle of the working week. If you can’t face going to bed at 10pm on a Saturday (and let’s face it – most people can’t), try waking up at a reasonable time on Sunday, so you aren’t out of sync during the week.
3) But what if you find it difficult to get to sleep in the first place? Getting a good night time routine can help you unwind before you hit the sack. Try a relaxing bath with essential oils such as lavender; and there is nothing quite like a good book before bed to help you nod off.
4) But make sure that book isn’t too exciting. It’s easy to get over stimulated before bed, which can make it harder to settle down and get to sleep. Although watching TV can feel relaxing, it can stimulate your mind and the light from the screen will trigger melatonin, the chemical that keeps you awake.
5) Keep the TV out of your bedroom. In fact, many experts say that the only activity that should happen in the bedroom is sleep…and, ahem, another activity.
6) Avoid heavy meals a few hours before bed. Although some people find that a light snack will actually help them sleep, a large meal will cause restlessness. A turkey sandwich which is high in tryptophan, a sleep inducing chemical or a banana with cereal is an excellent evening snack option.
7) Don’t drink too much just before going to sleep. Caffeine should be avoided from early afternoon onwards; and soft drinks, chocolate and even painkillers can also contain caffeine. So read the labels, there could be sleep impeding ingredients hidden in your cupboard and medicine cabinet.
8) Alcohol can contribute to a restless night’s sleep, thus leaving us sleep starved; so it’s best to avoid it. And water can result in numerous trips to the bathroom, so watch your intake just before bed.
9) Getting some sunlight and exercise during the day can have an enormous effect on our sleep quality. On average, we spend too much time sitting in artificially lit offices. Getting outside in the sunshine and burning off some energy can have a huge impact on regulating sleep patterns.
10) Finally, make sure that your bedroom is a relaxing place to be. A cool, dark bedroom is essential to help you get the quality of sleep needed to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.
Zoe is an avid blogger and experienced freelance writer, and loves to share her knowledge through content on the internet. Zoe is currently writing on behalf of bed superstore Archers Sleep Centre.