Tips for a good night’s sleep

Tips for a good night’s sleep

Article by Victoria Nicholson

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for everyone but some times it can be difficult to achieve. Here are a few tips that can help you get a restful night.

Try a routine: Having a set routine is the most effective way to guarantee sleep. Going to bed every night at the same time and waking up at a specific time can help you get into a pattern which means your ‘body clock’ will register when it is time for sleep and how long to stay asleep for.

Do not nap: Having a nap during the day can make sleeping through the night difficult and irregular. If you feel like napping during the day try a light activity. Tiredness during the day is usually a sign of being lethargic as oppose to actually needing sleep so finding a task to occupy yourself with can help you stay awake and will mean you are more likely to get to sleep on the night time.

Sleeping Environment: For a good night’s sleep to take place it is important for your surroundings to be ideal. Make sure your room is at a comfortable temperature; too hot or too cold will cause discomfort and will prevent you from getting to sleep. Try and eliminate as much distracting noise from your room as possible e.g. traffic, noise coming from other rooms in the house. Also, make sure there is not too much humidity in your room as this can cause dehydration making it almost impossible to get to sleep.

Avoid alcohol, tobacco and caffeine: Although technically a sedative, alcohol can cause great disruption to sleep. You may find you get to sleep straight away but this is not the correct sleep your body requires and you are likely to wake up half way through the night. Having a cigarette before bed stimulates brain activity and the nervous system which will mean falling asleep will be difficult. Caffeine, like the nicotine found in cigarettes, also stimulates brain activity which will keep you awake if drank too soon before bed.

Exercising: It is found that late afternoon exercising can lead to a good night’s sleep. It may also be a good idea to try some light exercise e.g. stretches, just before bed as it is shown this can help trigger sleep.

Other factors: There are numerous other things believed to help encourage sleep. Not all of these tips will work for everyone so it may be worth experimenting with each tip until you find which works best for you. Some people find having a hot bath before bed helps relaxes the body to a point where falling asleep is easy. Some find that a warm glass of milk 15minutes before bed can help trigger sleep whilst others would suggest listening to soothing music whilst you try to sleep. Another suggestion is avoid watching TV/reading half an hour before bed as this helps the body to un-wind and stop concentrating. Finally, having a comfortable bed can be important in your quest to getting a good night’s sleep.

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