Over recent years we have come to understand how important good sleep is to our health and well-being. Along with nutrition and exercise, sleep is one of the key things that can have a major impact on mood, concentration, memory and quality of life. In saying this, there are few things more frustrating than not being able to sleep. If you tend to find yourself lying in bed, unable to get to sleep or waking up during the night, the following tips may help to improve your sleep.
1. Avoid late dinners
Eating a late dinner or snacking right before you go to bed can activate the digestive system and keep you up. Eating a heavy dinner too close to bedtime can also lead to indigestion. Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol should all be avoided in the hours before bed too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can drastically affect your quality sleep. Even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
2. Go to sleep when you’re truly tired
The best way to think of this one is; you don’t sit at the dinner table waiting to feel hungry, so don’t lie in bed waiting to feel tired. Struggling to fall asleep leads to frustration, so make sure you don’t head to bed when you’re still wide awake. Once in bed, if you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep. Try to steer clear of screens at this point.
3. Limit your liquids
There’s nothing more frustrating than waking up in the night to go to the bathroom and then not being able to get back to sleep. Drinking lots of fluids prior to bed can overwhelm the bladder so try and avoid consuming a lot of liquids (including alcohol) at least two hours before bedtime to minimise trips to the bathroom. Although hydration is important, so is sleep, so have a big glass of water first thing in the morning instead of at night. You should also use the bathroom right before going to bed, as this may decrease your chances of waking in the night.
4. Leave the snooze button alone
The sleep you get in between your snooze alarms is not high-quality sleep. The snooze button often disturbs REM sleep, which can make you feel groggier when you get up. So even if you think you’ve scored an extra hour of snoozing, it won’t benefit you for the rest of the day. You’re much better off setting the alarm for the later time that you actually need to get up. Or if you must, only snoozing your alarm once.
5. Love your bedroom
If you don’t absolutely love everything about your bedroom, that needs to change. Do you ever find yourself looking forward to hotel nights because of how comfy the bed is or how nice the sheets are? You can most definitely recreate this experience in your own bedroom with the right mattress, pillows, quilt and sheets. Find out more about how to create hotel luxury in your bedroom here.
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