10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep

Written by: Helen

In my last post I talked about relaxation (you can read that here).  One factor that improves our ability to relax is a good night’s sleep.  Sleep deprivation can impact different aspects of our lives including our physical health, our emotional health and our relationships.  

At some point or other, most of us, will have groaned despairingly as the alarm clock beeps, dragged ourselves out of bed half-asleep, brushed our teeth with shaving cream and left the house wearing odd shoes (just me then?). It is awful trying to function when you are tired.

I want to sleep. Picture Quote #1

Here are just a few of the benefits we get from a good night’s sleep:

  • Aids our metabolism so can help with weight loss
  • Improves our concentration
  • Improved immune support
  • Better memory

Bedtime can become stressful when you aren’t sleeping right.  It can seem that the more you try to get to sleep, the more allusive sleep can be.  If sleep is an issue for you then here are 10 things to try for a better night’s sleep:

 

1) Don’t eat too late

This gives chance for digestion to take place before you go to bed and so won’t keep you up.

 

2) Cut down on caffeine

Be aware of how much caffeine you drink in a day and don’t drink any for at least 4 hours before bed if sleep is an issue.

 

3) Make relaxation a part of your bedtime routine

Here are some ideas:

  • Gentle stretching before bed
  • Meditation
  • Soak in the bath
  • Reading a book
  • Bedtime yoga sequence- here is one from DoYouYoga

4) Check your bedroom environment

  • Think about blackout shades or an eye mask
  • If noise is an issue you could try earplugs
  • Make sure the room is well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature
  • Check your pillows and mattress- most mattresses need replacing after 10 years

 

5) Don’t force it

This comes back to night-time being stressful when you are struggling to sleep.  If you really can’t sleep then get up and do something relaxing, read a book for a moment and then try again.

 

6) Don’t clock watch

This doesn’t help and can add to the pressure.  This may mean facing your alarm clock away from you so you aren’t constantly checking it.

 

7) Keep your bedtime routines and times consistent

This isn’t just something that’s helpful with children. This works for adults too.  Your body will get used to going to sleep at certain times and, if you can stick to the same routine, then your body will recognise when it’s time to shut down for the night.

Every night I go to sleep late, and every morning I realize it was a bad idea. Picture Quote #1

 

8) Don’t drink right before bed

This is to limit loo trips in the night.

 

9) Ban digital from the bedroom

I mentioned this in my last post, but it is a good idea to have a reprieve from the digital world before bed.  Give yourself half an hour away from your phone and laptop and relax before bed.

 

10) Use your breath

I have mentioned before that I am currently reading a book about proper breathing.  If you are kept awake at night by to-do lists and worry, then a breathing exercise before bed could help.  Try taking deep breaths in and then as you breathe out try and visualise your worries leaving with your breath.  This can take a bit of practice but is certainly worth a try if you are prone to staying awake worrying.

 

If you do have trouble sleeping then I hope some of these tips can help.  Is there anything that you do to help with sleep?  Do you have trouble sleeping or are you one of those people who can switch off as soon as their head hits the pillow?  Let me know below.  If you’d like to subscribe so I can send you healthy posts to your inbox, just pop your email into the box.

  1. Veronica says:

    Thanks Helen,
    As I want to put on weight, maybe I should be pleased that I don’t have the best of sleeps and wake at 5, sometimes 4 in the morning after waking in the night too. I think it can be age related. I am interested in the breathing methods and would like to know more about those.

    • Helen says:

      Ha, it’s probably still best to try and get a good night’s sleep. It’s interesting that perhaps our sleeping patterns change as we age. Thanks for commenting

  2. Emily Porter says:

    Wow! This is really helpful! Thank you for these tips. I’ve read a lot of tips about how to have better good night’s sleep, and yours just summarized each and every point! They’re easy to absorb and understand! I realized that your article has one tip that others may forget: it is the clock watching. I tried it and it worked for me as well! Thanks a lot!

    • Helen says:

      A bad night’s sleep is the worst so it’s great that there are different things people can try and find what works for them. Thanks for reading

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