If you are having trouble sleeping or think you might be suffering from insomnia these 10 tips can help you have a more restful night.
Keep regular hours
Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you’re most likely to feel tired.
Create a relaxing sleeping environment
Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep. Keep it as quiet and dark as possible. It should be neither too hot nor too cold. Temperature, noise and lighting should be controlled so that the bedroom environment helps you to fall -and stay – asleep.
Have a comfortable bed
It’s difficult to get good sleep on a mattress that’s too hard or soft, or a bed that’s too small or old. If you have a pet that sleeps in the bedroom with you, consider moving it somewhere else if it often makes noise during the night.
Take regular exercise
Exercise on a regular basis, such as swimming or walking, can help relieve stress. However, don’t do vigorous exercise too close to bedtime as it may keep you awake.
Consume less caffeine
Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine in tea or coffee, or sugary drinks, especially in the evening. They interfere with the process of falling asleep, and prevent deep sleep. The effects of caffeine can last a long time – up to 24 hours – so the chances of it affecting sleep are significant. Instead, have a warm, milky drink or herbal tea.
Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night.
It’s bad for sleep. Smokers take longer to fall asleep, they wake up more frequently, and they often have more disrupted sleep.
Take time to relax before going to bed
Have a warm bath or listen to quiet music. Your doctor may be able to recommend a helpful relaxation CD.
Write away your worries
Deal with worries or a heavy workload by making lists of things to be tackled the next day. If you tend to lie in bed thinking about tomorrow’s tasks, set aside time before bedtime to review the day and make plans for the next day. The aim is to avoid doing these things when you’re in bed, trying to sleep.
If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel tired again, then go back to bed.
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No patient/doctor relationship is to be inferred and you should seek medical advice from a qualified practitioner.
Nothing on this site should be used as a substitute for competent advice from a qualified medical practitioner.