Had a rough sleep? Not sure how you’ll make it through the day? Find yourself dreaming about going back to bed because you’re so tired? We’ve all been there! There is nothing quite like getting a good night’s sleep and there are ways to help yourself get enough of the good stuff! If you’re waking up tired more often than not, we suggest trying some of our helpful tips below to reset your night time routine.
Try to go to bed at the same time each night
This is important as our body has an internal clock sometimes referred to as our “body clock” and hormones that control sleepiness and wakefulness. The body clock works best if you have a consistent sleep routine which extends to getting up at the same time each day.
Relax and unwind for an hour before going to bed
Choose things that allow you to forget about any daily stresses, and help your mind and body relax. For some people, that will be watching a tv show or reading a book. If you find yourself still worrying about the day ahead, you may find writing a list of ‘to-do’s’ helps to ease your mind so you can get some downtime.
Switch off electronics and avoid blue light
Laptops, mobiles and tablets are an essential part of our lives these days. But all these devices emit blue light: a high-energy short wavelength of visible light that can penetrate all the way to the back of the eye*. Exposure to blue light during the day is perfectly safe – even essential for optimal physical and mental function – but it can have negative impacts at night. Exposing ourselves to blue light when it’s not daylight outside continues to suppress the production of melatonin, telling our body to stay awake – so before bed avoid the screens and switch off!
Avoid caffeine or alcohol at least 4 hours before going to bed
Caffeine is a stimulant that is found in tea, coffee and some soft drinks. Despite what is common culture to enjoy one of these as a nightcap, stimulants are not what you want in your body when you’re trying to sleep. And the same rings true for alcohol. While you might think that drinking alcohol will help you fall asleep, the reality is that it may result in a restless and broken sleep, making you feel worse the next day.
Fit in some exercise in your day
Being active has a positive impact on your sleep as your body requires rest to recharge. But the timing is important. Exercising too late in the day can keep your heart rate high and make it difficult for you to achieve restful, undisruptive sleep at night.
If you toss and turn, get up!
If you find that you haven’t fallen asleep within 20 to 30 minutes of going to bed then it is best to take yourself to another room until you feel tired. Don’t watch TV, play with your mobile device, eat, drink or do household chores. Simply relax and allow your mind to rest, this will also enable your mind to link bed with sleep.
There is no doubt that it takes time to get into a good sleep routine. Unfortunately, it won’t happen overnight but with a bit of commitment and consistency it will happen!
Sleep Health Foundation