A good night’s sleep is critical to function and feel at our best – yet many of us do not get the 7 to 8 hours of recommended sleep each night.
Top Ten Tips
Here are my top ten tips, to help you improve the quality of your sleep in terms of getting falling to sleep easily and staying asleep.
1) Keep Regular Hours
Each of us has a natural sleep-wake cycle which is controlled by the ‘circadian rhythm’ which is set up in our brain. In order to help the body balance both sleep time and wake time – and get to sleep with ease – we need to keep ‘regular hours’. Waking up around the same strengthens the circadian function and sets you up for getting to sleep in the evening. Ideally you would keep this going every morning, and even at weekends when there is a temptation to sleep in.
Prehistorically we would have naturally gone to sleep when the sun went down, which only changes by 2 minutes a day! Thus it is also important to try to go to bed around the same time each night. Also try to limit your naps, taking long afternoon naps can interfere with night-time sleep patterns. If you need a nap don’t take longer than 30 minutes.
2) Relax Before Bedtime
We all have our own personal preferences to relax our minds and bodies before bed. The important point is to find out what works for you. A warm (not hot) bath is often what comes up first. Relaxing music, yoga, dealing with worries and distractions several hours before bedtime, and warm drinks are also on the list. As with the time you get to bed. Doing the same thing each night just before bed signals your body to settle you down for the night.