We can all have good intentions when it comes to living healthy, we can decide to make changes to our eating habits or to our exercise routine, but if we’re too tired to implement these changes properly then it’s no good. A terrible night’s sleep can have serious effects on how we function during the day. We can become confused, snappy and grumpy, or just plain useless, not to mention having a headache and those awful gritty eyes. If you struggle to sleep, or drift off or get comfortable, here are a few good tips to help you get comfortable and hopefully enjoy a restful night’s sleep.
A regular sleep routine is essential. Try going to bed at the same time every night, and waking at the same time every morning. If you need to change your routine for any reason, try doing so in chinks of 15 minutes each time. Also, that after dinner slump we’re all prone too needs fighting against. Try getting up and washing the dishes, having a shower, doing a few things around the house so that you don’t nod off, because that will throw your sleep routine off for the whole night.
Increasing your light exposure during the day is a great way to get into a better sleep routine. Spend more time outside if you can, or if you work in an office try to spend your breaks outside. You can also try making sure your office has plenty of light coming into it. At night, do the opposite. Melatonin is produced at night, and reading from lit screens such as those on iPads and Kindles hinders the production. Turn off the television and the computer, along with any electronic devices. You could also change your light bulbs in your bedroom to a lower wattage so that the light it emits isn’t as brilliant.
Create a relaxing environment for yourself to fall asleep in. Comfy pillows and blankets are essential. There’s nothing worse that scratchy woollen blankets if that’s not what you find comfortable or feather pillows if you hate how it feels under your head. A couple of scented candles or an oil burner can help, especially if you burn lavender. This really helps relax a lot of people. Just be extra vigilant; if you feel yourself drifting off, slowly sit up and extinguish the flames before sinking back down into the pillows to fall asleep.
Eating right is important too for peaceful sleep. Cut your caffeine consumption, or if you can’t cu tit completely, try cutting it down in the evenings. Avoid alcohol – the idea that it helps you drift off is a myth. Avoid big meals late at night too, as heartburn and indigestion can kick in and keep you up. Lots of liquids too hinder sleep, as you’ll keep needing to go to the toilet and you’ll never get comfy!
Stayed tuned for part two, where we’ll talk about stress, anxiety, and also tips for falling back to sleep when you wake in the night!