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How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

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How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

When was the last time you slept through the night? The average person wakes up between 10-15 times a night. We all know how important sleep is, a  good night sleep protects not only your mental health but also your physical health. It can:

  • Improve your overall health due to rest and repair occurring.

  • Reduce the chance of snacking and overeating.

  • Reduce the effects of stress on your body.

  • Reduce the risk of inflammation.

  • Improve your concentration and productivity.

  • Improve your ability to learn.

  • Improve your ability to regulate your emotions and mood.

  • Improve your immune function.

A repeated lack of sleep can also affect your emotions, social interactions and has also been linked to both anxiety and depression.

So, we know how important a good night’s sleep is but how do we ensure we get it?

Look at your environment

Make your bed comfortable. A comfortable bed can help you get to sleep faster. Invest in some good pillows and a comfortable and supportive mattress

Make sure your room is completely dark. Light can trick your brain into thinking it is still daytime. Turn off the lights and block out light from outside with heavy blinds or curtains. If you use an alarm clock, turn it around so that it doesn’t face you.  Don’t sleep with the television on, as the flickering light will also disrupt your sleep.

Adjust the thermostat to a cool temperature. Keeping your bedroom cool helps you fall asleep more easily, as your body naturally cools down before sleep. Aim for between 16 and 20 °C

Set up a routine

Stay away from screens for 1-2 hours before bed. This includes television, your phone, your tablet, and any other electronic device. The light from these screens will keep you awake or lead to poor sleep quality.

Take a warm bath or shower.  A warm bath or shower signals to your body to cool down, which helps you fall asleep faster. You'll also feel extra relaxed especially if you add calming scents, such as lavender to your water.

Calm yourself with essential oils. In addition to adding oils to your bath, you can spray your room with diluted essential oils or use an oil diffuser. Great options for bedtime include lavender and chamomile.

Read or listen to music. Reading before bed is a great way to relax. Many people find that reading every night helps them wind down. Use a soft bedside lamp to maintain the right environment for sleep.  Choose a book that you find relaxing. If exciting books keep you awake, opt for a book that has a slower story line. Some people fall to sleep easily listening to calming music – avoid anything with a fast beat as this can energise and wake you further.

Write everything down.  Putting down on paper everything you need to do the next day can help free your mind. Write down even the smallest things, like "empty the bins " or "water the plants". Emptying your brain of your to-do list for the next day allows you to go to sleep safe in the knowledge everything is in hand and nothing has been forgotten.

Write down anything that is worrying you, making you anxious or frustrated.  Getting it all out of your head and on to paper can make the difference between a good night’s sleep or a fretful night with thoughts whirling around your head.   

Other top tips include:

  • Don’t use your bed as a work or study space.

  • Avoid caffeine after noon. 

  • Quit smoking as nicotine acts as a stimulant

  • Be active during the day. Exercise can extend the number of hours that you sleep, as well as prime your body for deep sleep.

  • Don't drink alcohol before bed. 

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