We all only have 24 hours in a day and with life travelling at 100 miles an hour, most of us try to cram as much as we can into our days. We all have different lives with different commitments. It may be family commitments, work commitments as well as having busy social lives.
Sleep seems to come last on a lot of peoples to-do list however, sleep is just as important for your brain and body as food and water are. Not getting enough sleep can really effect you. The average adult needs around 7-8 hours of sleep a night to feel fully rested. There are so many benefits to sleep that some people don’t realise are connected to having a good nights sleep.
Below I have listed some of the benefits sleep can give us.
Health benefits of sleep
- Improves memories
- Helps with inflammation
- Reduces stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps you body fight back against illness
- Helps maintain you weight
- Improves your mood
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- Improves concentration and productivity
I have put together a list of my top tips to help you get a better nights sleep.
Set a regular bed time.
Setting a regular bed time will help your internal body clock stay in sync and after a period of time you will naturally start to become sleepy at the same time each night. This will improve your quality of sleep.
Create a bed time routine.
Having a bed time routine, where you do the same certain habits every night before bed will help signal your brain and body that it’s time to start winding down for the evening.
Avoid caffeine & nicotine a few hours before bed.
Both caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and are made to keep your brain active. They can take a few hours to wear off so avoiding them the hours before bed means it will be easier for you to fall asleep.
Daily physical activity
Daily physical activity can help to promote better sleep at night however, try not to exercise to close to bed time as exercise creates adrenaline and this can prevent you from falling asleep.
Create the best sleeping environment.
To be able to feel relaxed in bed, you should try to transform your bedroom into the perfect space. Your bedroom should be calm, uncluttered and dark. Try using black-out blinds to make your room dark and leaving a window slightly open to make it a cooler temperature.
Power down an hour before sleep.
Turn off the main light, use a smaller lamp also turn off all computers and tablets as the bright blue hue from your screens tricks your brain to think it should still be awake and active
Start a bed time journal.
Going to bed with worry and stress can be a big culprit of stopping you fall asleep. Having a journal on your night stand and writing a page or two every night to clear your head can really help you to de-stress and fall asleep easier.
Avoid heavy meals before bed.
Over night your body is resting and healing so having a heavy meal to close to bed time can disrupt your sleep during the night due to your body working to digest the meal.
Have a warm bath right before bed.
Having a nice warm relaxing bath will really help with tense muscles as well as helping to clear anything that is on your mind ( Have you ever been in the bath and a solution to a problem has randomly popped into your head?)
Finding a mattress that is right for you.
Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft or too hard can prevent you from falling asleep and it can also cause you discomfort during the night. It is recommended to buy a new mattress every 8 years.
Get out of bed if you are struggling to sleep.
If you are struggling to fall asleep, get out of bed and try doing a calm activity, for example some simple yoga or reading a book until you start to feel tired again. NO computer screens or TV. Staying in bed tossing and turning can make you more stressed and will prevent you further from getting a good nights sleep.
I often have issues with not sleeping or being woken during the night and I have tried every tip I have mentioned above and I have found them to help me get to sleep and stay asleep.
If you have any other tips you think may be useful to someone, please leave a comment below.