How do we ensure we can get a good night’s sleep? There are lots of things that we could do and below I have listed 10 things for you to think about and use to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Get natural light! Our body has an internal clock which is responsible for our natural time keeping and if we are in tune to this it will send out signals for when we need to sleep and when we need to be awake. This is refereed to our circadian rhythm. Our lifestyles and work activities can throw our natural time-keeping clock out of sync. Exposure to bright light or natural sunlight during the day helps to keep your circadian rhythm healthy and improve daytime energy and performance and the quality and duration of night time sleep.
Wind down – give your body time to relax before bed by reading or having a warm shower or bath. Cooling down before sleep is a natural process which the warmth of the shower or bath stimulates once you leave it, tricking our bodies into feeling sleepy faster.
Reduce exposure to blue light. Our tvs , laptops, computers, and phones all emit blue light and blue light exposure during the day is beneficial, but at night it confuses the body in to thinking it is still daytime. So where possible minimise your exposure to blue light. Filters and glasses are available to minimise the blue light. F.lux is an app available to download that will block blue light on smart phones. However, the best thing to do is to stop using devices that emit blue light at least half an hour before you go to bed.
Reduce/stop your caffeine intake late in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant and improves focus and energy but having too late in the day can interrupt your body’s nervous system and prevent it from being able to relax naturally at night. Chocolate also contains a very similar chemical, which has a very similar effect, so try to avoid chocolate before bedtimes.
Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can interfere with your melatonin levels and negatively affect sleep. It can also lead to increased snoring and sleep apnea (pauses in breathing). Try to avoid alcohol if trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Napping during the day can also interfere with sleep at night as it can confuse your body clock. If you are having difficulty going to sleep at night try not to nap in the day.
Bedroom environment – Make sure your bedroom is a place where you feel comfortable and restful. Try to use a room that has minimal exposure to external noise, eliminate external light sources by using black-out curtains, switching off computer and phone screens.
Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillows and blanket as all these can have an effect on your sleeping patterns as having uncomfortable bedding can give rise to pains in the neck, shoulders, back and hips.
Bedroom temperature can also affect the quality of sleep and how quickly you can achieve sleep. It is important to find a temperature that suits you. This may take a bit of playing around to achieve and studies have shown that around 70°F/20°C is generally comfortable for most people.
Exercise regularly. Studies have shown that sleep duration and quality have increased where people have exercised during the day, however, exercising too late at night can disrupt sleep patterns as exercise increases our alertness and production of adrenaline which contribute to sleeplessness.
About Meera Mehat and Harley Street Consulting
I’m a behavioural change and emotional well being specialist and a qualified hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and coach. I have spent the last 30 years in changing the behaviours and lives of children, teenagers and adults from all walks of life. I have set up Harley Street Consulting to help continue my work in helping others achieve success and behavioural change in their lives. I have offices in Maidenhead, Berkshire and Harley Street London, please get in touch if you would like to find out more about how I can help.