We spend approximately a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is an essential and involuntary process, without which we cannot function effectively.
It is as essential to our bodies as eating, drinking, and breathing, and is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health.
Sleeping helps to repair and restore our brains, not just our bodies.
Here are a few other tips on helping you get a good night's sleep -
1. Ensure your mattress is up to the job.
Mattresses have a life span of around 8 years and the quality of what you are resting your body on for up to 8 hours per night can greatly improve your sleep time. Our bodies need the correct amount of support and as we age our physiological needs change. There are many different types of mattresses available, see our blog for further information.
2. Is your pillow correct for you?
Pillows are equally as important to ensure the correct alignment of our skeletal system and posture. With the market advancing in all sorts of wonderful ways pillows these days offer a vast array of different benefits to an individual's rest.
We also have a blog outlining the different types to suit your sleeping position.
3. Have a regular sleep pattern.
Try to go to bed at the same time every evening and get up at around the same time every morning. Improved sleep will not happen immediately but if good sleep habits are maintained, sleep will certainly get better. Find what time works for you and stick with it.
4. Spend the right amount of time in bed
Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Some require more and some less. Many poor sleepers spend much more than eight hours in bed and this makes fragmented sleep a habit. Try to limit your time in bed to no more than eight and a half hours. If you often take hours to fall asleep, go to bed later. Remember that children need more sleep than adults.
5. Bed is for sleeping, not entertainment.
Smartphones and other handheld electronic devices can interfere with your sleep. Try to avoid using your computer or other electronic screens within one hour of bedtime. The blue lights emitted by screens reduce the production of the hormone, melatonin, which makes us sleepy. It is better not to sleep with your TV or other devices on. Your mind needs to be in the habit of knowing that if you are in bed, you are there to sleep. Don’t stay in bed if you are wide awake.
6. Wind down and relax before going to bed.
Have a buffer zone before bedtime. Try to sort out any problems well before going to bed. This may mean setting aside a 'worry time' during the day. Use this time to go over the day's activities and work out a plan of action for the next day. Exercise is fine, but not too late in the evening. Find the relaxation technique that works for you.
7. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable.
You should have a quiet, dark room with comfortable bedding and good temperature control.
A good quality mattress and pillows will aid your sleep and your body's natural circadian rhythm, helping create a stable cycle of restorative rest that enables increased daytime activity.
8. Alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes – to be avoided
Alcohol may help you to get off to sleep but will disrupt your sleep during the night. Caffeine (tea, coffee, cola drinks) and the nicotine in cigarettes are stimulants that can keep you awake.
9. Avoid daytime naps.
Sleeping during the day will make it much more difficult to sleep well at night. If a nap is necessary, for example, because of a late night, then limit this to about thirty minutes. Make sure that you are awake for at least four hours before going back to bed. Don’t allow yourself to fall asleep in front of the TV – not even for a minute.
10. Don’t lie awake watching the clock
Watching the time on a clock can just make you anxious about not being asleep. If possible take the clock out of your bedroom. If you need the clock for the alarm, turn it around so that you cannot see the time. Resist the temptation to look at the time on your electronic devices. These should be charged overnight outside of the bedroom.
11. You may need professional help
If you are still having trouble sleeping if you have persistent problems with mood, restlessness in bed, severe snoring, or wakening unrefreshed despite what should be an adequate period of sleep, make sure that you go and see your doctor.
Here are a few links to help you sleep like a baby.