20 Ways to Improve Your Sleep
For many of us, our bed is a welcome place at the end of a stressful day. But, for some, it’s where their worries take over. If you lie in bed thinking “Why can’t I sleep?”, then we’ve got 20 ways to improve your sleep.
OK, So Why Can’t I Sleep?
Did you know a third of adults in the UK say they have insomnia and women suffer from sleeplessness more than men? The sleepless cities study, published by Aviva shows that a lack of sleep is a common problem in the UK, but why?
There are many natural causes of insomnia, including stress, poor diet, being overweight, hormonal changes and medical conditions. A lot of people automatically assume they have a medical issue, but most can fix their sleep issues by making some lifestyle changes.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Children and teenagers need more sleep than adults, so if you’re worried you don’t sleep as much as you used to, it’s perfectly normal. Experts say that adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel rested the next day.
How to Improve Your Sleep Quality
The following tips will help you improve your sleep quality and allow you to make the most of your days.
Track Your Sleep
Apps like SleepCycle can give you valuable insights into your sleep quality. All you need to do is place it on your mattress, and the app will track your sleep during the night. Do it for a week then look at the changes you should make to improve your sleep.
Get Your Protein
We all know that protein is essential for our muscles to grow and repair themselves, but nobody wants to eat meat or drink protein shakes before bed, right? The solution is to take a couple of spoons of hydrolysed organic collagen peptide before you turn in for the night.
Rest Your Body
Exercise is essential, but never do it before you go to bed. If you absolutely must exercise in the evening, make sure you don’t undertake any strenuous activity for at least two hours before you go to sleep.
Avoid Bright Lights
Bright lights severely impact your melatonin levels, so it’s best to avoid your mobile device and TV before bed. Dim your lights and screen half an hour before you go to sleep, or read a book.
Eat Healthy Fats
If you incorporate healthy fats into your evening meal, you’ll feel more alert the next day. Fat is slow-burning so that it can benefit your body and mind. You can find which fats are best to eat here.
Make a Schedule
It’s easy to get distracted by TV shows or evenings out, but if you can get yourself on a regular schedule, you’ll benefit from more sleep. You should never have a TV in your bedroom, and try to go to your bedroom at the same time each evening.
Let the Sun Shine In
Natural sunlight is so important, but many of us underestimate how effective it is for our brain. Spending just 20 minutes in the sun each morning causes your brain to release chemicals that will regulate your sleep cycle.
Meditate and Relax
Relaxation practices are a great way to clear your mind and rest your body before you go to bed. If you’re not a fan of meditation, then some simple deep breathing techniques will work too. You can also use lavender, ylang-ylang and other oils before bed to promote peaceful sleep.
Free Your Mind
If you lie in bed worrying about your job, children or just life in general, then you’re going to find it hard to switch off. Make some time each evening to sit and write down your worries. Look at the list and prioritise which problems you can fix immediately and which need revisiting. Then make an effort to push the concerns out of your mind.
Restrict Your Caffeine
There’s nothing like a cup of coffee in the morning because it wakes us up! So it’s clear to see why caffeine in the evening isn’t a good idea. Caffeine stays in your system for six to eight hours so stick to water each night if you want to optimise your sleep.
Monitor Your Diet
Your food choices can impact your sleep, so it’s crucial to think about what you’re putting into your body. For example, individuals with a diet high in saturated fats, sugars and processed foods will struggle more to get a good nights sleep. Fill up on healthy fats, fibre and discover the benefits of organic food.
Power naps are a fantastic way to refresh your brain, but if you sleep for longer than 30 minutes during the day, it will decrease your sleep quality at night. Think about if you need a nap and try to save sleeping until night time.
Have a Bath
A hot bath before bed is incredibly effective at relaxing your body and promoting better sleep. You can use calming bath oils, light candles and play relaxing music. The critical thing to remember is to use this time to let your worries slide away.
Change Your Bedroom
Bedrooms should be peaceful places that promote sleep, not full of bright colours and distracting murals. Instead, use neutral shades and tones, combined with a comfortable bed and appropriate lighting.
See a Doctor
If the above steps don’t work, then it’s time you see a doctor. Medical sleep disorders require specialist support, so it’s essential to get yourself checked out. While some conditions are treatable, others may require long-term solutions.
So now you know how to improve your sleep quality, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. Getting a good nights sleep takes time, but small changes to your routine, diet and lifestyle can go a long way and give you the peace you need to function each day.
We’d love to hear about your sleep issues and the things you did to resolve them. Fell free to tell us in the comments.