Top ten tips for a better night's sleep

Here are ten top tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, and feel well rested the next day. Whether you struggle to get to sleep, or can’t drag yourself out of bed the next day, then these tips will help you get the rest you need.

1.      Sticking to a sleep schedule

The most important thing for a good night’s sleep is to stick to a sleep schedule. Ideally, this means going to bed and waking up at the same time every morning, but it should definitely be within an hour of your normal pattern. This will allow your body to settle into a cycle and mean you get the right amount (and kind!) of sleep each night. This makes it far easier to fall asleep at night, but also easier to wake up in the morning as your body has been genuinely refreshed.


2.      Airing your room throughout the day

If your room is stuffy when you try to get to sleep, then you’re going to be tossing and turning for hours to come. It may seem a little harsh over winter, especially when you’re trying to save on energy bills, but your windows really need to be open for a good part of every day. This keeps the air circulating, will make it easier for you to breath more peacefully at night and, of course, your room will still smell lovely and fresh when you close your eyes.


3.      Take a glass of water with you to bed

It’s so important to keep hydrated, both throughout the day and at night. Waking up with a dry throat, or sleeping restlessly because you’re thirsty is such an easy fix when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Always make sure you have some cold water by your bed to sip while you’re relaxing beforehand and for if you wake up wanting water in the middle of the night. Cut out the faff of stumbling to the bathroom and keep water and tissues by your bed at all times.


4.      Turn off the technology

Turn off all technology- phones, the TV, your i-pad etc. at least an hour before you get into bed. Ideally, keep technology out of your room at all times and invest in a good old-fashioned alarm clock instead. Having everything still in room is terrible for your stress levels and, let’s be honest, the lights, alarms and constant buzzing don’t exactly help either.


5.      Read and unwind before you get into bed

Take an hour before bed to rest and unwind before you turn out the light and try to sleep. Settle down with a good book or a magazine, and your glass of water, to forget about the days stresses. Taking this time for yourself helps you wind down and allows your brain to relax so that you get a more restful night’s sleep and can sleep all the way through. Going straight from a busy day of rushing around, into bed without any wind down time will not help in the long run.


6.      Keep your bed for sleeping only

Your bed is for sleep- it is not a desk or a table, so try not to work or eat on it throughout the day. Having a separate space just for rest and relaxation will help tell your brain to switch off and that this is the end of the day. If your bed is for sleeping only, then you’ll find it ten times easier to drift off at the end of the day.


7.      Have a warm shower or bath

A warm shower or bath at the end of the day is the perfect way to relax and get yourself ready for sleep. It will mean you’re going to bed nice and cosy, are thoroughly destressed, and that your airways have been thoroughly cleared. It helps to get rid of any tension in your body, and prepare yourself to get some shut eye.


8.      Cut back on the alcohol

Alcohol is one of the key things that prevents people getting to sleep and always prevents a peaceful night’s sleep. It’s inevitable that if you drink a lot before going to bed, you’ll wake up at least once throughout the night, you won’t settle into your REM cycles properly, and your sleep won’t be of the same quality. All this means that you feel less refreshed the next day- hangovers sound familiar? Drinking excessively before sleeping is best avoided; leave at least an hour’s gap wherever possible and always drink lots of water before getting into bed.


9.      Darken the room an hour before you want to sleep

When having your relaxation time, reading or otherwise unwinding, make sure you darken your room so that your body clock knows what it’s gearing itself up for. It’s all about preparing your body for sleep, and this will signal that it’s night time and it’s ok to switch off. A bedside light is ideal, so you don’t have to get out of bed again, but as long as you make a room a little dimmer for the final hour of your day then your body will do the rest for you.


10.  Making your bed perfect for you

You spend a third of your life sleeping, so why not make the experience as pleasant as possible? It’s important to consider everything from getting a mattress with the right firmness through to get those soft sheets that will send you to sleep straight away. Find the bed meant for you, and spend a third of your life a little more peacefully.