There are few things that can ruin your day more than getting a poor night’s sleep. You wake up feeling tired, grumpy and completely unprepared for the day ahead. And, in the long-term, poor sleep can lead to anxiety, depression and a whole host of physical ailments.
Sleep is incredibly important to your physical and mental health. And that’s why I’ve put together this list of tips that you must follow to enjoy quality sleep every single night.
Proper Sleep Environment
1. You NEED a comfortable bed and set of pillows. Trying to sleep on an ancient lumpy mattress with limp old pillows is a recipe for a poor night’s sleep. Invest in the best mattress and pillows you can afford and don’t order them online. Go into a store so you can try before you buy and be sure they’re the right bed-set for you.
2. No electronics in the bedroom except an alarm clock. That’s right, no phone, no laptop, no TV, no handheld games systems. Your bedroom is a place of rest, not entertainment (except for, y’know…). When you have electronics to hand, the first hint of being unable to sleep and you’ll reach for one of them. The light will then disturb the resting state of your mind and you’ll soon be wide awake. Better to leave temptation outside the door.
3. Hello darkness, my old friend. The darker your room, the easier it will be to fall asleep. Treat yourself to a thick set of bedroom curtains that let in no light. And, since you should now have NO ELECTRONICS in your room, there will be no artificial sources of light.
4. Keep your bedroom cool. If possible keep your bedroom window open throughout the day to keep your bedroom cool. Then, at night, you can snuggle under your warm duvet and fall asleep without getting all hot and bothered.
5. Wash your sheets regularly. This will keep your bedroom smelling clean and your sheets feeling lovely and soft. It’s always much easier and more comfortable sleeping on fresh sheets.
6. Get some comfortable sleeping attire. Whether you like to sleep in pyjamas, a onesie, or an old t-shirt, make sure that whatever you wear to bed is comfortable and warm and non-restrictive. You don’t want to be waking up because you’re too hot or you’re being choked by your night-time clothes.
Throughout The Day
7. No caffeine after 1pm. The better your quality of sleep, the less caffeine you should need to charge you in the morning. Don’t drink ANY caffeine after 1pm (this includes soda) or it will keep you on edge all night. Eventually you should aim to give up caffeine all together. It is possible!
8. Watch what you eat. Any meals or snacks heavy in carbs/sugar will cause your blood sugar levels to go on a rollercoaster ride throughout the day. You might feel tired by bedtime but find yourself unable to sleep as a result. Ditch the chocolate and sweets and try to centre your meals around salad, rice and lean meats.
8. Exercise daily. You don’t have to hit the gym everyday but just going on a 15 minute walk outside can make a huge difference to your quality of sleep.
9. Switch to reading after 9pm. Again, electronics are an enemy of sleep. Switch your lighting to a lamp and break out a book. You will avoid keeping your mind in ‘daytime mode’ whilst also keeping it busy by giving it a task; this will help stop night-time over-thinking.
10. Take a warm (but not hot) bath/shower. The warm water will help you to feel fresh and clean whilst relaxing your muscles. Be careful not to run the water too hot though as that will actually increase your heartbeat and make it hard to relax.
11. Get comfortable and close your eyes. It seems obvious but many people will keep their eyes open, waiting for their body to force them to close and go to sleep. This makes the whole process take a lot longer. Help yourself out by getting comfortable and closing your eyes as soon as you get in bed.
12. If you can’t fall asleep after thirty minutes get up. Walk around the house a little, maybe go out back to take a breath of fresh air, or read a little more. Fighting yourself just makes sleep more difficult to come back. Break the pattern and try again.
13. Wake up the same time every morning. No lie-ins, not even at the weekend! When you sleep an extra hour or two in the morning, you will make it more difficult to fall asleep that night. Instead, if you’re tired, go to sleep earlier at night.
14. Buy yourself a eye mask and ear plugs. If you’re sensitive to light or sound then both these items can be a great help. I’d personally recommend wax ear plugs that you can mould to fit the shape of your ears. Barely a peep will pass through them.
15. Or a white noise machine. These are machines that will play a static white noise that drown out other noises. Alternatively we have a white noise MP3 that you could play in your bedroom. Just be sure to cover any electronic light caused by your stereo/MP3 player. I wouldn’t recommend using earphones though as these can get tangled/uncomfortable and wake you up in the night.
15. Nice smelling oils. Essential oil, especially lavender, can be very relaxing and help you drift into a peaceful sleep.
16. Meditation/Hypnosis MP3s. Performing a little meditation or self-hypnosis shortly before you go to bed is a great way of calming your mind and preparing yourself for sleep. We have a number of great sessions below that you can buy and download instantly.
I hope these tips will help you improve your sleep tonight and beyond.
Do you have any of your own tips? Share them with us in the comments section below.