natural ways to get a good night’s sleep
We’ve previously mentioned that not getting enough sleep can be bad for you. Poor quality sleep can lead to health problems, as well as leaving us feeling burned out and on edge.
We almost don’t have to tell you how important sleep is to our daily routine, as it largely dictates how we feel when we’re awake. As you can probably tell, here at herdysleep we’re big fans of a good night’s sleep – so much so that we like to think of ourselves as experts in the field. So, we thought that we’d share our top tips on how to get a good night’s sleep. Read on to see how you can adapt your bedtime routine for the sake of your slumber.
Switch off before you go to bed
We know it can be hard to stay clear of laptops, phones and other gadgets when we climb into bed, but all those tweets, pictures, and (dare we say it) work emails only keep your mind alert, and you awake. The bright screens on gadgets like mobile phones can also lower the rate at which you produce melatonin making it harder to relax and get to sleep.
To make sure that your gadgets don’t get between you and a good night’s sleep, try leaving them alone for an hour before you settle into bed. If you find it hard not to check your phone, try leaving it on silent and place it in another room. Without that last hour of screen time keeping your mind alert, you’ll find yourself drifting off in no time.
Reduce your intake of stimulants
If you’re prone to low quality sleep, chances are you’ve been keeping yourself awake throughout the day with an abundance of stimulants, such as caffeine. As much as we love a good cup of coffee, caffeine is one of the biggest culprits for keeping us awake at night.
Whether you’ve been drinking coffee all day, or treated yourself to an after-dinner espresso, drinking coffee can knock a full hour off your sleep. It’s best to only have coffee in the mornings and stick to decaffeinated or low caffeine drinks after lunch time.
Monitor your stress levels
It’s understandable that lack of sleep can contribute to you feeling worn out and stressed, but it’s important to allow yourself some time to relax. Whether it’s reading a book before bed, going for a walk in the evening or relaxing with family, allowing yourself these little moments will pay dividends when it comes to destressing and improving sleep quality.
Reducing stress takes some practice and it can be hard to find the time to chill out, but it’s a proven way of getting a better night’s sleep. Many people find that meditation lowers their stress levels, with even short spells of peace and calm helping them to unwind before bed.
Exercise throughout your day
Being stuck behind a desk every day can not only feel tedious, but it can also make it harder for you to sleep. Not only does it let you blow off any pent-up energy, regular exercise helps regulate stress levels and can help you relax before bed, if done a few hours beforehand.
However, don’t punish yourself with a gruelling workout just before bedtime; try gentle yoga or tai chi which can aid relaxation and promote a restful mind. If you find that you don’t have time in the evening, go for a walk during your lunch break and get some fresh air to aid sleep.
Stick to a bedtime routine
As one of the most effective ways to help get a better night’s sleep, we recommend sticking to a bedtime routine. Having a regular bedtime helps your body get used to getting a certain amount of sleep each night and teaches it to become more relaxed and ready for wind-down as that time approaches.
To help yourself get into the habit of a healthy routine, try not to sleep in during the weekends and avoid napping throughout the day. Serial nappers and late-risers are more likely to find themselves struggling to relax come bedtime.
Those are just a few tips that we’ve found have worked for us over the years here at herdy®sleep, and we always wake up with a smile. What helps you get a good night’s sleep? Let us know on Twitter, @herdysleep!