Tips for a Good Sleep
Sleep only as much as you need to feel rested and then get out of bed.
Spending an excessively long time in bed can cause fragmented and shallow sleep.
Keep a regular sleep schedule and most importantly a consistent wake-up time.
Your body “gets used” to falling asleep and waking up at certain times, this is called the circadian rhythm.
Avoid forcing sleep.
If you are unable to get to sleep after 20-30 minutes, do not remain in bed “trying” to sleep. Get out of bed and the bedroom and do some quiet activity such as reading. When you feel sleepy, go back to bed and try again.
Exercise regularly for at least 20 minutes a day, preferably 4 to 5 hours before bedtime.
Exercise too close to bedtime can delay sleep onset.
Avoid caffeinated beverages after lunch.
Avoid alcohol near bedtime.
Alcohol can fragment sleep and suppress REM sleep.
Avoid smoking, especially in the evening.
Adjust bedroom environment to make it comfortable; an excessively warm/bright room or intermittent noise disturbs sleep.
An uncomfortable bed or bedding can also prevent good sleep.
Block out distracting noise with earplugs if necessary and eliminate as much light as possible.
Deal with worries before bedtime.
Some people find it helpful to make a list of worries to help clear the mind. It may also help to have a relaxing routine before bed such as a bath or some light stretching.
Consider eliminating the bedroom clock.
Many people stare at the clock when they have trouble falling asleep which can lead to worrying which can lead to even more trouble falling asleep. Consider turning your clock around or putting it inside a drawer.
Avoid watching television in bed.
In some people, watching TV in bed can worsen insomnia, either due to the light from the television or content of the programmes.
Avoid long naps.
Daytime naps have been shown to decrease the depth of the subsequent night’s sleep and increase time needed to fall asleep. If you do nap, try and limit it to 30 to 45 minutes.
- Give yourself time to unwind – Gradually unwind in the evening. Don’t expect to go from full-blast to sleep in a just a few minutes.
- Set an off time – Pick a time in the evening where you start to turn off your computer, tablet and smartphone and disengage from the digital world.
- Make bedtime special – Do something that relaxes you like taking a bath or listening to music.
- Keep the routine – Bedtime rituals are important and should be done in the same order every night.
- Be comfortable – Ensure your sheets are clean and neat. Climbing into bed should be a pleasure.
How can I fall asleep faster?
- Eat a lighter dinner – Heavy meals late at night can cause indigestion.
- Make it quiet – Ambient noise can be much more disturbing than you think. Invest in earplugs or a white noise machine.
- Make it dark – It will be easier to fall asleep.
- Relax – Give yourself a chance to unwind before bed.
- Open a window or use a fan – The cooler your bedroom the easier it tends to be to fall asleep.
- Better bedding – Sheets should be clean and fresh.
- Eliminate Allergens – Make sure your room is clean and that your pyjamas are hypoallergenic.
- Stick to a schedule – Make an effort to go to sleep at the same time every night.
- Sleep rituals – Start doing the same thing very night, you will form a trigger in your mind that will make you sleepy.
- Stop working – Don’t take your work phone to bed with you.