Do you find yourself persistently pressing snooze on your alarm in the morning? Or go to bed with a racing mind and struggle to get to sleep? If the answer is yes, chances are you’re among the 25% of the UK population* who suffer from sleep disorders. While we all have days where we don’t want to get out of bed, especially on these cold winter mornings, if you find yourself constantly struggling to wake up or get to sleep you may want to consider changing your sleep routine. Here are some munch tips on how to sleep better…
This is an obvious one, but effective. If you’re one of those people who finds a racing mind stops you from dropping off at night, then skipping that afternoon latte may help. Trade it in for a green tea – it still has caffeine, but also contains L-Theanine, which has soothing properties and may help you to sleep.
You should also try to cut out any other stimulants including alcohol and sugary foods which can cause a blood sugar rollercoaster that sends your blood sugar soaring before crashing down – not conducive to a good night’s sleep!
Try to eat dinner around two hours before going to bed so your body has time to start digesting it before you go to sleep. Sleep is the time for your body to repair and recover from the day, so if it has the added burden of digesting a heavy meal, you may not find the rest so effective.
Minerals like magnesium and selenium have a confirmed calming effect on the body, so insomniacs or stressed out people struggling to get to sleep may benefit from taking a supplement combining the two around an hour before bed.
Camomile has similar soothing properties, so a cup of camomile tea an hour before bed may also work as an effective sleep aid.
On these chilly evenings what could be nicer than a hot bubble bath before bed? Enjoy a soak in the tub shortly before bedtime to raise your temperature and rest a tired body.
A more common problem is the use of LED screen technology immediately before bed including smart phones, iPads, laptops and TV. If you’re finding that you struggle to sleep, then switching these off and having a quiet half hour or so before sleep may help to ease your mind.
During the night:
It goes without saying but sleep in something that you feel comfortable in and make sure you’re warm enough, but not going to end up too hot in the night. Your body temperature changes during the sleep cycle, meaning many people may go to bed cold but wake up in the middle of the night hot.
In the morning:
If you’re anything like me, it’s in the morning that you have the greatest problem. When it’s still dark outside, bed is definitely the more appealing place to be. Try to avoid the lure of the snooze button, or if you have to just press it once. Those extra ten minutes in bed don’t do anything to help with your feelings of tiredness, and will probably just make you feel even drowsier.
If you’re really struggling with the dark mornings then one of the new alarm clocks with a light can help you to wake naturally. The lamp on top will get gradually brighter, filling your room with a natural looking light that will wake you up gradually without any annoying ring tones. Try Lumie Bodyclock STARTER 30 Wake-up Light Alarm Clock, around £50.
Can’t function without your morning coffee? Hold fire and resist caffeinated drinks to wake you up. Start your day with a mug of warm water and lemon to kick start your metabolism and help to alkalinise the body after a night of detoxing. Heading straight for coffee will restart the cycle of relying on caffeine, sugar and other stimulants to get through the day.
Hopefully by putting some, or all of these tips into practise you’ll be able to sleep better!
Do you suffer with sleep disorders?