1. No screen time at least 1 hour before bed
I’m sure by now everyone is aware that the blue light from screens can block melatonin (the sleep hormone and make us feel more awake, and yes, most devices now have blue light filters to try combat this issue, however, there is still a bright screen in front of your face when you are otherwise surrounded in darkness. It is also keeping your brain alert and not allowing you to properly relax. Try reading before going to sleep instead of scrolling. I definitely notice the difference when I read as opposed to scroll, I sleep better and don’t wake as easily in the night. Reading also allows me to notice when I am tired and need to go to sleep whereas I could scroll down Insta/YouTube etc. until the early hours of the morning because the screen helps my eyes feel more awake.
2. Make sure you’re hydrated!
Keeping hydrated (and not drinking a lot of water before bed) will help your body to function as it needs to while you’re asleep and allow you to wake up refreshed the next day.
3. Be active
Regular exercise can reduce stress and help your body reset your sleep wake cycle. It can make you feel more alert during the day and tire you out ready for bedtime. It can improve how long you sleep along with the quality of sleep you get.
4. Have a good night time routine
Going straight to bed without having a proper night time routine will mean that your body and mind is still very alert of things going on in your life and that have happened that day. Try to have a good evening routine which works for you and helps you feel calm and relaxed before you go to bed. Things like a warm shower followed by lavender oils or scented lotions can help you switch off, meditation or yoga before bed can also be useful to remind yourself of the importance of your health rather than your mind focusing on the things you have to do the next day or are worried about.
5. Eat well
Nutrients in foods can aid sleep, magnesium and potassium help to relax muscles and so can help to get a good night’s sleep. Foods high in magnesium include spinach, kale, avocado, banana, chickpeas, asparagus, tuna and salmon to name a few and foods high in potassium include bananas, apricots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and more.
6. Spend some time planning the next day before you get ready for bed
This way you will have a plan ready for when you wake, feel organised and won’t be worrying (as much) about all the things you need to get done, but, do it too close to bedtime and you may still be thinking about them so try do it before your bedtime routine.
7. Make sure your room is tidy
Having comfortable surroundings can make you feel more relaxed and happier – clear space, clear mind – and help you fall to sleep easier and have a better nights sleep.
8. No caffeine after lunch!
Caffeine makes you more alert and this can obviously affect your sleeping habits. It can take hours to leave your system and can continue to affect the melatonin levels in your body, this can disrupt your sleeping cycle.