Few people realise the toll lack of sleep has on their health. Getting enough sleep is imperative to both physical and mental health, allowing our brain and body the time it needs to calibrate and heal.
Take a look at the following questions – if you answer yes to even one of them, you would probably benefit from improving your sleep.
If you answer yes to more than one, it’s likely that an improvement in sleep quality will significantly improve your health.
- Do you wake up feeling tired, not energised?
- Do you feel as if you could sleep for a few hours more after waking?
- Do you rely on caffeine, sugar or other stimulants to keep you going throughout the day?
- Do you need to take long naps during the day?
- Do you feel wired instead of tired when you go to bed?
- Do you rely of sleeping medication to get to sleep?
- Do you lie awake, wishing you could get to sleep?
- Do you wake up frequently throughout the night?
So, if you answered yes to one or more of these questions, how can you improve your quality of sleep?
Lower the temperature of your bedroom
We sleep best when we’re in a warm bed in a cooler room. Make sure you keep the temperature cool in your bedroom and if possible have a window open to let in fresh air.
Check your mattress
Old, uncomfortable mattresses can lead to wakefulness. Ensure your mattress is supportive and comfortable.
Have a warm bath before bed
A warm bath will raise your body temperature. This means when you get out of the bath, your body temperature will drop. A lowered body temperature will help to facilitate sleep.
Deprive your senses
Make sure your room is quiet and dark. If outside noises keep you awake, you may want to invest in some earplugs or a sleep noise machine.
Create a bedtime ritual
Create a routine that encourages relaxation to help you wind down before bed. This could involve a bath, as mentioned above, meditation or reading a book.
Switch off your devices
Electromagnetic fields and blue light emission can affect sleep – so avoid using your devices (phone, laptop etc.) close to bedtime.
Get professional support
If you think you are struggling with a sleep disorder, you may benefit from seeking professional support. Many people use hypnotherapy to help change negative thought patterns associated with sleep. Find out more on our sleep disorders page.