Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you lie in bed awake most nights staring at the clock? Or wake up after what you thought was a good 8 hours sleep only to feel groggy and lethargic?
A good night’s sleep is easier to get than you think. Here are 8 useful tips which will find you drifting off in no time and waking up feeling energised!
1. Ditch your alarm clock:
Sounds silly I know, but digital alarm clocks emit electromagnetic fields (EMF) which are said to disturb sleep. Find yourself a battery operated alarm clock and place on the other side of the room (to avoid the dreaded ‘snooze’ temptation) or use your phone’s alarm and pop it on airplane mode. In addition to alarm clocks, move all electronics from your room or at the very least switch them off at the wall.
2. Keep your bedroom free from artificial light:
Once you have thrown out the digital alarm clock and other electronic goods, check for other artificial lights that may be disturbing your sleep (ie: electric toothbrush, air conditioner, street lights, tv etc). Cover with a sheet/blind or whatever necessary to ensure your room free from artificial lights while sleeping.
3. Drink lots of water:
At the very least drink 2 litres of good quality filtered water throughout the day. This does not include juices, coffee or tea. If you are drinking coffees or teas, then for every cup of tea, have two glasses to make up for it. Try not to drink too much right before bed as you will find yourself getting up throughout the night for a trip to the loo. If you do need to get up during the night, avoid turning on the lights.
4. Reduce or eliminate consumption of coffee:
… and other stimulants especially after midday. It’s a vicious cycle… You are tired so you drink coffee, but then can’t sleep at night from the coffee drinking so the next morning you are tired and drink coffee again, and so on! It may be hard at first but if you can eliminate coffee, you will notice a huge improvement in your quality of sleep, and then you’ll find you no longer “need” it.
5. Stay away from screens within an hour of bedtime:
Limit exposure to any electronic device for that matter. Your brain will be over-stimulated and not have any time to wind down which means poor quality of sleep. Try and spend the last hour before bed meditating, reading and relaxing with dimmed lights.
6. Exercise regularly:
Between 30 mins and an hour a day 3 – 5 times a week. Start out with brisk walks or a light jog, try some yoga or even gentle stretches. Just get your body moving and you can find an exercise routine that suits you and your schedule.
7. Eat lots of fruit and veg:
Eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables as often as possible, 2 to 3 times a day, will not only see you having a great night’s sleep but will assist in seeing you live a long and healthy life. Try not to eat within 2 hours of going to bed as you will still be trying to digest your food while sleeping.
8. Save sleep for night time:
If possible, avoid sleeping in or napping throughout the day as it interrupts with sleeping patterns. Try to go to bed at a reasonable hour the same time each night and wake the same time each morning (for 7 – 9 hours a night), including on weekends.