Without enough sleep, our bodies can’t function properly. However, when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, it’s not just the time you sleep for that counts, it’s the quality of your sleep. The truth is that if you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, it’s probably down to your lifestyle and bedtime routine. You may not realise it, but your day-to-day activities and bedtime regime can have a massive impact on how well you sleep.
To help you sleep well every night, we have put together a few useful tips. Take note of these, and you can ensure that you get all the sleep you need.
Set a bedtime and stick to it
One of the best things that you can do to ensure you get a good night’s sleep is set yourself a sleep-wake schedule. This means setting yourself a bedtime that you can realistically stick to, on both weeknights and weekends. Opt for a time when you would normally start to feel tired, and set that as your bedtime.
If you select the right bedtime, you should wake up naturally without the need to set an alarm. (If this isn’t the case, it might be worth setting an earlier bedtime.) By having a set time that you go to sleep and wake up, you’ll get your body into a routine. This will make it easier for you to get a good night’s sleep. Just remember not to alter this, otherwise you’ll mess up your body’s sleep cycle.
Be smart about napping
While napping is a great way to catch up on lost sleep, it can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. That’s why, if you’re going to nap, it’s important to be careful of when you nap and how long for.
For instance, if you suffer from insomnia, it’s best to avoid naps altogether, as this can make getting to sleep at night ten times worse. If you are going to nap, it should be in the early afternoon, for no longer than 20 minutes.
Don’t expose yourself to light at the wrong times
Our bodies contain a natural hormone called melatonin that helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycles. It is controlled by light, which means that if we expose ourselves to light at the wrong times, it can impact on how well we sleep. When it’s dark, your body produces more melatonin to make you sleepy, and less when it’s light to keep you awake.
The problem is that our lifestyles and sleep habits can alter the balance and pull our body’s Melatonin creation out of sync. This then makes it harder for us to fall asleep. For example, lying in bed watching television can keep you awake due to the light. That’s why it’s important to limit how much screen time you have leading up to bed.
Have a pre-bedtime relaxation plan in place
Make falling asleep easier for yourself by putting a pre-bedtime relaxation plan in place. Think about what helps you to relax, and before bed spend some time doing that. Add some pre-sleep relaxation time, and getting to sleep will become much easier.
Be it having a lavender bubble bath, practising yoga, or reading a book, it’s important to work out what helps you to unwind. If you spend some time doing this before bed, you should find it easier to fall asleep.
So there you have it, all our top tips for getting a good night’s sleep.