We all know how beneficial a decent dose of sleep can be for our overall health and wellbeing.
But even though we understand the importance of good sleep, sometimes actually getting that shut-eye is way easier said than done.
If that sounds familiar, forget counting sheep and try some of the below suggestions:
Ditch the blue light
It’s so tempting to stick on a favourite tv show just before bed, or catch up on a quick email or even check Facebook. But the reality is that late night exposure to blue light is an obstacle to a decent night’s sleep.
Try and switch everything off at least an hour before you hit the hay. Plug any devices on charge in a different room overnight to remove temptation.
Have a snack
Sometimes sleep can be interrupted by the simple fact that you’re hungry – often the case when working out regularly during the day.
If that midnight stomach gurgle sounds familiar, then have a snack before bed. Try a banana (known to help slumber due to their content of potassium, magnesium and amino acid that convert to serotonin and melatonin) or cherries (also a source of melatonin).
Or go for a small bowl of porridge which has sleep-inducing properties and should keep you satisfied until morning.
Watch the fluids
We all know the benefits of adequate hydration. But make sure the majority of your water intake takes place during the day otherwise you’ll be running for the loo throughout the night.
Limit the amount of fluid you consume during the evenings and try to make your last drink at least an hour before bedtime.
Have a brew
No, we’re not talking caffeine-packed coffee or builders tea. Try a sleepy tea – packed with relaxing but totally natural ingredients like chamomile.
But as per above, try and drink it at least an hour before bed so you can see it out of the other end before you climb between the sheets.
Do some exercise
Participating in some physical activity during the day can help fatigue the body, preparing it for some serious shut-eye.
And don’t worry about working out in the evenings. Although it has long been believed that this can disrupt sleep, recent research has shown that is not the case.
Clear the mind
Switching off before bed can be about more than simply turning your devices off.
A few minutes of mindfulness or meditation to process your day and then instill a sense of peace can be a good idea before bed, particularly if you have a stressful job.
Create a bedtime ritual
Give your body some cues that it’s time to shut down. Just like a baby, create an evening routine that prepares your body for sleep. It could be a hot bath, a book before bed.
Eventually your body will come to recognise the signs that it’s time to relax.
Do you have any other tips for a decent night’s sleep?