Getting a good night’s sleep is as important as eating a balanced diet and staying active. The average adult needs between seven to nine hours of sleep. Any less, and you’ll find yourself feeling tired constantly during the day. Don’t worry, the NHS has a long list of tips on getting enough sleep.
How to fall asleep quicker
Set a bed-time
Bed-times aren’t just for little children, sleeping at a regular time can benefit adults too.
If you sleep at a similar time every night, your brain and internal body clock will be programmed to feel sleepy at this time.
You need between six and nine hours of sleep every night, so work out what time you need to wake up and set a schedule.
You should try and wake up at the same time every day, if possible.
Even if you feel like you need a lie in, this can disrupt your sleep routine and make it more difficult to sleep the following night.
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Stop staring at screens until the moment you want to be asleep. You need to wind down before bed.
A warm but not hot bath will help your body to reach a temperature that is ideal for rest, and cause you to drift off soon after you slip into bed.
Stressful thoughts keeping you awake? Write a to-do list for the next day to organise your thoughts.
This will clear your mind of any distractions and let you relax in peace without worrying you will forget something.
Switch off Netflix and pick up a good book, or listen to a radio or a podcast.
These will all relax your mind by distracting it from all the worries you have.
Create a relaxing environment
Move around your room so that it is a relaxing environment.
According to the NHS, there’s a strong association in peoples minds between sleep and the bedroom, but certain things can weaken that association.
This includes TVs, gadgets, bright lights, noise, and an uncomfortable bed. Get rid of all these things.
Keep your room dark, quiet, tidy, and at a temperature between 18C and 24C.
No curtains? It’s time to fit some or get some blinds to keep the light out.
If you live on a noisy street, perhaps invest in double glazing or earplugs.
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What you consume affects your ability to sleep easily.
Cut down on caffeine – this means tea, coffee and energy drinks – in the evenings.
Caffeine consumed at any time of day will interrupt your sleep and prevents deep sleep.
Swap these beverages out for a warm, milky drink or a herbal tea.
Overeating or drinking too much alcohol is another insomnia culprit.
While alcohol or a big warm meal might make you feel sleepy initially, it may disrupt your sleep later on in the night.
Exercising doesn’t just tire you out immediately after, a workout regime will help you to sleep.
Moderate and regular exercise, such as swimming or walking a few times a week, will help to relieve some tension built up over the day.
Don’t do a sweaty exercise routine before bed though, as this will keep you awake.
Stick to light yoga stretches just before bed to relax your muscles if you can’t sit still.
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