A good night’s sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead. However, for so many of us, a good night’s sleep doesn’t come naturally. Turning a bad night’s sleep into a good one is not a scary prospect. With just a few lifestyle adjustments, you can transform the way you sleep long term.
Why is a good night’s sleep important?
Not achieving eight hours of sleep is not only going to leave you feeling tired, and lethargic, you’ll also be in danger of impacting your physical and mental health – if you constantly expose your body to a lack of sleep.
Poor concentration and decision making are the most common results of poor sleep. These can put you and those around you at risk of injury, especially if you drive or operate machinery. More long-term dangers include obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
According to the NHS, “one in 3 of us suffers from poor sleep” with “stress, computers and taking work home” all common causes.
There are, of course, a lot of other potential causes of poor sleeping habits with no one-stop-shop to solve them all. Introducing a few small lifestyle changes, however, will move you in the right direction.
How you can get better sleep
Sleep at a regular time
A regular sleeping pattern will help programme your internal body clock meaning your body gets used a set routine. This basically means go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. The easiest way to introduce this into your lifestyle is to work out what time you need to wake up. You’ll then be able to count backwards eight hours to work your bedtime.
Cut out caffeine
Drinks like coffee, tea and energy drinks all contain stimulants that keep your body and mind active. Cutting these stimulants out of your diet before bed will help you enjoy a night of better sleep. You’ll also notice the benefits if you can reduce your intake of caffeine throughout the day.
Remove technology from the bedroom
Watching TV, using a mobile phone or computer before bed will keep your brain active, making it difficult for your body to relax when you want to sleep. Removing these items from the bedroom will help you relax and get your body ready for sleep.
Exercising during the day is a good way to increase the quality of your sleep. Physical activity means you are using up your energy reserves and as a result you’ll feel more tired at the end of the day. Exercise does release adrenaline so avoid doing exercise straight before bed as this will have the opposite effect.
Give your body and mind chance to unwind before you go to bed. A bath is a fantastic way to relax, consider listening to your favourite music or reading a good book to further your relaxation.
Think about the temperature of your bedroom
The temperature of your bedroom has a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. Being too hot or too cold will lead to disturbed sleep, so try and keep your room at a comfortable temperature.
Introducing the above into your daily life could help you achieve a better night’s sleep. To understand what works best for you try keeping a sleep diary and record how subtle changes impacts your sleep.