Most of us encounter a rough night’s sleep every now and again. It can be annoying, frustrating and downright upsetting to have to endure a sleepless night but what can we do about it?
A bad night’s sleep can be down to a number of reasons from stress to comfort so here are a few little tips to ensure you sleep better and ensure you don’t have to suffer a sleepless night again!
Sleep is hugely important to a person as it promotes overall health and well-being. Sleep gives your body time to recover from strenuous activity, exercise or common illnesses whilst it also relieves the previous day stresses ensuring you’re alert, focused and energetic the coming day.
Technology Turn Off
Try a technology ‘turn off’ before you go to bed. That soft, blue glowing light may be good for recognising your phone is on charge but it’s not going to do anything for your sleep. Power down all blue-light sources before you go to sleep, including computers, tablets, mobile phones and charger or even digital clocks. If you can’t switch them off (or don’t trust yourself to have an alarm in another room!) then cover any of your devices that emit light.
Ideally, avoid watching any bright screens for at least one hour before you go to bed as the light that glows from televisions and computer screens can be stimulating as opposed to relaxing. For some night-time relaxation, try reading books (but not e-readers!) or listening to music, podcasts or audio books instead.
Avoid the Bad Stuff!
Everyone knows the story – but, where possible, avoid drinking caffeine, alcohol or smoking before going to bed. Stimulating drinks such as caffeine can affect a person for up to 12 hours after consuming it so limit your intake of coffee, black tea and fizzy drinks! The best drinks that can help you to sleep include warm milk, chamomile or decaffeinated herbal teas.
Although alcohol can make you feel sleepy it tends to give you broken and shallow sleep meaning you may wake up multiple times in one night and will not wake in the morning feeling reenergised.
Smoking is a stimulant too so it’s best to shun smoking for at least two to three hours before you go to sleep.
Get the Right Environment
For some, relaxing music or sounds can help them drift off to sleep. If you can’t get rid of the whirring and birring from outside, consider buying a fan or a white noise generator. A white noise generator helps get people to sleep by eliminating the noises from outside or around us whilst relaxing or ambient music can help us to feel more relaxed, less stressed and therefore more likely to drift off.
Make your bedroom an ideal place to sleep by ensuring it’s as comfortable as possible. This means you will have to re-evaluate your bed, your mattress, your pillows and duvet and whether they are conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night you may need to change your bedroom furniture.
Mattresses need to be replaced after five to seven years. Feel your bare mattress and check for any springs or ridges you may come across – if this is the case, it’s time to buy a new one! If you constantly wake up with a sore back or an aching neck this will also mean you need to swap out your bed for something more comfortable.
Experiment with different types of mattress firmness, mattress enhancers or toppers and also consider varying degrees of firmness in pillows to ensure you’re as content as possible before attempting to nod off.