Whether it’s counting sheep or waking up in the night, everyone has experienced a bad night’s sleep every now and again – some more than others. But there are some simple things you can do to ensure you sleep like a baby.
1. TURN OFF THE TECH
You knew it was coming, and with good reason too. Technology’s EMF’s (electro magnetic frequencies) can interfere with your sleep and those little lights can reduce your melatonin (the sleep hormone).
2. GET INTO A ROUTINE
Hands up who looks forward to a lay-in at the weekend? Me too. But did you know that sleeping past your alarm clock creates a debt that disrupts your sleep cycle?
3. BLACK IT OUT
Our circadian rhythm (body clock) is designed to wake us up with light and put us to sleep with darkness. Artificial light messes with our cortisol levels, affects the production of sex hormones and reduces our melatonin. Invest in some blackout blinds or a sleep mask and try not to turn on any lights if you get up in the night.
4. GO TO BED EARLIER
We’ve all heard the saying, an hour before midnight is worth two after. But it’s more than just a catchy play-on-words as the hours before 12am are the most restorative. Try to gradually go to bed week on week to ease into a new routine until you get to 10-10.30pm.
5. AVOID ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE
It may be boring but cutting these two things out of your evening routine (four to six hours before bed for alcohol and three days for caffeine) can vastly improve your sleep. Not only does it mess with your serotonin (the happy hormone) levels, it also has a stimulating effect around 3 am.
6. SWITCH OFF
How many of you lay in bed and go through the day in your head? Me too. Try to relax your mind by doing the 7/11 breathing technique – breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11, focusing on nothing but the sound of your breath in and out.
MORE: Kit your bedside table out with these sleep must-haves