With Christmas late nights and lazy lie ins over, going to sleep at reasonable time and getting up and out in the morning, can be a tough job.
As well as a balanced diet, plenty of water and regular exercise, a good night’s sleep is needed for tip-top health and we have some ideas about how to get back into a routine.
Take some exercise
What you do during the day can have an impact on how easily you nod off and the quality of sleep you have. Taking exercise every day is one really good thing to do. We aren’t saying you have to train for a marathon, but doing something that gets the heart really working and those feel good endorphins pumping round your body will do you, your health and your sleep patterns, the world of good. We suggest that you don’t embark on strenuous exercise two hours before you go to sleep as your body needs time to settle, but a little light stretching or yoga can benefit you at this time of day.
Cut the caffeine
Have a think about your caffeine intake in the day as this can can cause sleep issues. Tea and coffee, energy and fizzy drinks are all packed with caffeine, so don’t have them after lunchtime, instead opt for non-caffeinated options, herbal teas and water. You can keep a caffeine diary (maybe include alcohol in this) and look at the impact of what you drink on how you sleep.
Take a break from tech
Taking a break from technology before you go to bed can be one of the best ways to boost your sleep. The blue light that comes from screens works in the same way as the natural light that wakes us up in the morning, so turn screens off a good hour before bed. Consider using night-time modes and screen dimmers in the evening, or read a real book and leave screens in the living room!
Set a pattern
It doesn’t matter what age you are, a routine before bed helps you wind down. As well as turning off screens you can also lay out your clothes for the next day, write a gratitude journal, do a little yoga or meditate and all of these will start to tell your brain you are heading towards bedtime.
Have a bath
We know water bills add up, but a warm bath before hitting the sack can really help you relax and leave the worries of the day behind you. Soft lights, bath soaks and calming music can all set your mind free and let your muscles relax and if you do this every night, it will become another cue to your brain that it’s almost time to go to sleep.
Keeping your bedding clean, surfaces uncluttered and your room temperature consistent, can help ease you into sleep and if you need help nodding off, warm drink can help.
Our brains and internal body clock like to keep to a consistent sleep routine so if you can, once you have a set a pattern, keep to it everyday. While you might have later nights on Friday and Saturday, try to still get up at your usual time as you will then find it easier to get to sleep that night and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go once again.
If you do have ongoing problems when it comes to sleep, do speak to your GP.