5 Ways To Get Better Sleep
Sleep is vital for humans – not getting enough can affect everything, from physical health to concentration. If you’re not currently getting enough sleep, then you might notice that you feel low and anxious, that you find you don’t have much energy and that everything just feels that little bit harder. If that sounds familiar then here are some ways that you can start to improve the sleep that you have.
Create a sleep schedule for yourself
The recommended nightly sleep is 7-8 hours so create a schedule that allows you to get this – and no more. Go to bed at the same time every night and have the same routine before you get into bed. Get up at the same time every day, so even at weekends that you’re continuously reinforcing your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you’re in bed and you’re not asleep within 20 minutes then get up and do something that will relax you (e.g. reading) and go back to bed when you’re tired.
Look at how food and drink might be affecting you
Are you going to bed hungry, and your rumbling stomach is keeping you awake? Or maybe you’re overly full and struggling to sleep because you feel a bit sick. It’s important to look at all the ways in which food and drink could be affecting how you sleep. Especially important is the amount of sugar you’re consuming, as well as when you’re drinking caffeine and alcohol. All of these can be very disruptive where sleep is concerned.
Make sure your bedroom is a restful environment
Ideal sleep conditions are: cool, dark and quiet. Avoid anything that might be overly stimulating in the hours before you’re about to hit the sack. That includes light-emitting screens like your phone. Consider blackout blinds for your bedroom so that it’s truly dark and even a fan, ear plugs etc, depending on what is likely to meet your needs. Consider what kind of calming activities could be useful to do just before bed, whether that’s yoga or having a bath.
Get plenty of exercise
Not enough activity during the day can be one of the reasons why we struggle to sleep so make sure you’re scheduling in plenty of exercise. If this activity is outside then it’s also a great way to get plenty of natural light too. Just remember that any exercise too close to your bedtime could have the opposite effect and end up making you feel even more awake.
Give yourself time to deal with your anxieties
Bedtime is often when anxiety starts to feel overwhelming, as there are no other distractions and there may be no one to share these feelings with. So, make sure that you’ve given yourself time to deal with your anxieties well before you go to bed. Try journaling or talking to someone and learn some basic stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, which might help.
Getting better sleep can make all the difference to how you feel every day – and these are some of the simplest tips to help you do it.