Every now and then we may struggle to drift off at night which can have a negative impact on the day after when we need to go to school, work, errands, or anything else you need to do during the day. Little sleep can cost us energy and the ability to focus, amongst an array of other things. But what’s costing us our sleep? Simple habits we have at night are a major factor to this.
There’s no need to go to sleep bang on the same time every single night, then wake up at the same time the next day, but it helps. I roughly go to bed around 11:30 – 12pm on weeknights and wake up around 6:30am – if I haven’t hit the snooze button that is. Weekends are different if I don’t have much planned, but who doesn’t appreciate a lie-in? The point is, having a scattered sleeping pattern every night can affect your body clock throughout the week so try and have a vague routine to follow.
Change Your Mattress.
Seems obvious, but some of us can put up with sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress for a couple nights. However, holding off purchasing a new mattress or simply buying a mattress topper can cause you to get a restless night. The first step to getting a great night’s sleep is getting comfortable and feeling relaxed where you lay.
Control Your Naps.
I’m not one for naps; I feel groggy afterwards and achieve nothing from a quick 30min-1 hour ‘power nap’. But for those who enjoy a good nap and are capable of carrying on with their day afterwards without feeling un-human, make sure you time them right. We’re all tempted from time to time to just collapse on the bed when we get in from a long day, but avoid evening naps. You may feel refreshed for a little while, but once you try to sleep later on that night, you may find it a lot more difficult.
Although many of us don’t follow this advice, try to avoid television and computers etc. within 1-2 hours of you going to sleep. If you do happen to be looking at a screen before bed, dim the lights. Bright lights are not ideal when you’re trying to wind down, so turn it all down. When going to sleep, try to sleep in total darkness too.
This is my weakness, as I’m not a huge fan of the dark when on my own. Therefore I have a small lamp on every night which, although I eventually get to sleep, I do notice it takes me far longer to drift off as opposed to it being dark. I’ve now got into the habit of sleeping with the lights off, but opening my blinds ever so slightly to let in the tiniest bit of light from the lamppost outside – it’s not as bright as my night light, but isn’t too bright to effect my sleep.
Eating large meals or snacking on junk food before bed is not wise. You can often feel discomfort and can stop you from sleeping. Also avoid too much caffeine, even during the day. A morning cup is fine, as we all need a little pick me up every now and then, but drinking too much can prolong sleep later on.
What tips do you have for a good night’s sleep?