It's so important to get a good nights sleep each night, so that you can function properly during the day. There is nothing worse than facing into your day after a restless nights sleep or not getting enough hours sleep. Here are some tips to help you get a better nights sleep.
1. Shut down
Turn off all technology in your bedroom an hour before you go to sleep. This means your TV, tablet, phone, computer, or alarm clock. If you can't switch them off then place a cover over the light source, as these lights can interfere with your sleep.
2. Create a bedtime ritual
Follow the same routine each night so that your body knows it's time to wind down. This could involve taking a shower, reading a book, listening to some music or meditating. Aim to do this with dimmed lighting, and these relaxation activities can transition you from being fully awake to being quite drowsy and ready for sleep.
3. Go to bed at the same time each night
Go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day, including weekends and holidays. Being consistent with the time you go to bed each night can assist your body's sleep and awake cycles, and ultimately promote a better nights sleep. If you can't get to sleep after 15 minutes then get up and read a book until you start to feel tired and then head back to bed.
4. Watch your food and drink intake
Coffee and alcohol can interrupt your sleep patterns. Aim to have your last coffee of the day by midday. Alcohol can make you sleepy however it can disrupt your sleep later on during the night, so it's best to avoid alcohol before bed. Don't go to bed too full or too hungry as this can keep you awake at night as well.
5. Include exercise into your day
Regular exercise can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster at night. Do something that you love! Go for a walk or a run, attend a group exercise class, ride your bike or lift some weights. Exercise in the morning where possible, as this will help you to feel energized throughout the day. If you exercise too close to bedtime you may be too full of energy to be able to fall asleep!
6. Get a handle on your stress
If your mind is racing with a million things that you have to do before you go to bed, you may find it difficult to fall asleep. Write a to do list each night before you start to wind down. This can help you to prioritise what you need to do the following day. Also take regular breaks throughout the day to alleviate your stress.
7. Set the scene
Create a bedroom setting that is conducive to getting a good nights sleep. This could mean that your room needs to be dark, quiet and cool. If you live in a noisy location you could invest in some earplugs. If your room is too bright, invest in some black out curtains or blinds. Do you have a good quality mattress and set up pillows? If not pop them on your to do list of things to buy. All of these things will set the scene for a comfortable nights sleep.
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Author: Vanessa Geraghty McGann - Owner & Master Trainer - PTV Personal Training & Wellness Coaching. firstname.lastname@example.org.