Almost everyone has difficulty sleeping at some stage in their lives. Up to one third of the population may suffer from insomnia, which affects emotional wellbeing, concentration and productivity. Longer-term, the problems can escalate leading to stress, anxiety and depression amongst others. So it’s vital that anything more than a couple of disturbed nights are dealt with. Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference. Here are some easy steps you can take to help get your sleep back on track.
Healthy Sleep Habits to Get on Board With
When it comes to a great night's sleep, a sleeping schedule is key. In fact, it’s a good idea to adopt healthy sleep habits even before any problems arise, as a decent night’s sleep is simply crucial for all aspects of health and happiness. In order to maintain a good sleeping schedule, it’s important to take note of the following healthy sleep habits:
Have a Regular Routine
By providing your body with a consistent bed time, you can re-set your body clock and get your mind and body into a regular sleep pattern.
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable
The bedroom MUST be fit for purpose. Neither too hot nor cold, dark and quiet (black-out blinds and double-glazed windows or ear-plugs can help) and clean and tidy (who can rest surrounded by mess or clutter?). A comfortable, supportive bed and mattress are essential.
Avoid large meals before bed
Ideally leave approx. 3 hours between your last meal of the day and your scheduled bedtime. Therefore, your body won't keep you awake while trying to digest your dinner.
Cut out the sugar
Fast releasing sugary treats throughout the day, but especially in the evening, negatively impact our blood sugar balance. Disturbed and broken sleep throughout the night can be as a result of a drop in our blood sugars in the middle of the night.
Reduce your caffeine
When it comes to good sleep habits, reducing caffeine is important. Avoid relying on stimulants throughout the day to keep your energy levels stable. If at all possible, avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch - that goes for fizzy drinks too. Instead opt for a variety of herbal teas which can aid sleep.
Why not try:
Work in some Exercise
Exercise enough throughout the day and consider gentle stretching exercises or yoga in the evening.
Organise yourself for the following day. Sometimes just knowing you’re ready to face the day is key to relaxation.
Begin a bedtime ritual
Anyone who’s had children will know all about sleep-training - well, it’s a similar concept for grown-ups. Your routine will depend entirely on you but it’s all about relaxing - getting the mind and body ready for sleep. Perhaps a herbal tea, some soothing music and a warm lavender (known for its relaxing properties) bath?
Turn off the screens
Another of our healthy sleep habits to take heed of is to watch your screen time. Turn off the TV (and the computer, and any technology in the bedroom – or indeed anywhere after 10pm). It can be hard to switch off and get ready for bed if you're surrounded by blue light which can disrupt your melatonin.
Keep a journal if problems arise
If it’s been a few days since you’ve slept well, start a sleep-diary to identify any triggers - what did you eat/drink/do/read that evening?
Give Natural Remedies a try
Consider natural herbal remedies which can just help you drift off naturally. By using these you can alleviate sleep disturbances. Some sufferers swear by floral essences or Bach rescue remedies and aromatherapy products are often found to be useful.
Pop in the earphones
Alphawave music is designed to give the same feelings as meditation. It is very far-removed from the out-dated and ineffective relaxation tapes of old.
A restorative night’s sleep, on a regular basis IS within your grasp. Good night, sleep tight!
Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.
Checked and updated: 5 September 2021