How to sleep: Add this to your bath to help you sleep well as the clocks go forward

Lying awake at night, unable to sleep, is a common problem for many. Not getting enough sleep not only makes you feel tired and groggy, but can be detrimental to both physical and mental wellbeing. With the clocks going forward to tomorrow, we will lose an hour sleep tonight, which can make a sleepless night feel even worse. There are certain things you can do to help you fall asleep at night, including not drinking caffeine after a certain time and keeping your room dark and silent. But one expert offers a slightly more unusual tip to help you fall asleep fast.

The bicarbonate neutralises the skin’s acidity, softens dry skin and is a good aid in detoxification

Dr Nerina Ramlakhan

According to Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep expert at bed retailer Silentnight, having a “hot bicarbonate of soda bath” could help you to fall asleep quickly.

Dr Nerina advises adding two big mugs of bicarbonate of soda to “comfortably” hot water, before immersing yourself for 20 minutes.

You should do this between 60 and 90 minutes before going to bed.

“The bicarbonate neutralises the skin’s acidity, softens dry skin and is a good aid in detoxification,” said Dr Nerina.

The doctor warns not to use soap or shampoo, as the chemicals from these products will reduce the effect.

Rinse off after your bath and go to bed soon afterwards.

According to Dr Nerina, bicarbonate of soda helps the body to wind down, relax and feel sleepy.

“You will feel very tired, sleep well and find it much easier to get up in the morning,” said Dr Nerina.

Another surprising tip the doctor shares to help you get a good night’s sleep is to avoid skipping breakfast in the mornings.

“Not having breakfast is a surprising cause of poor sleep. I see lots of people struggle with eating early in the morning but skipping it will put everything, including your sleep out of sync.

“Not ‘breaking the fast’ leaves your body running on the wrong kind of energy throughout the day, but by having breakfast you stabilise your blood sugar while activating your body’s circadian timer, which allows it to make more of the sleep hormone melatonin later in the day.”

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How to Sleep: 10 things to avoid if you want a good night’s sleep

Dr Nerina says the perfect breakfast to kickstart the day can be something as small as eight almonds and two dates, as they provide the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate when you wake in the morning.

Eight almonds and two dates offer around 150-200 calories and will fire up your metabolism, stabilise your blood sugar, stop you reaching for the coffee and help your body produce vital melatonin later in the evening to help you sleep.

A final unusual tip from Dr Nerina to help you get to sleep, is to take up hula-hooping.

According to the doctor, physical movement can help produce the chemical adenosine, which promotes sleepiness and enables melatonin to work more effectively.

“Hula-hooping is a great, fun way to incorporate regular movement into your day,” said Dr Nerina.

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