Sleep is one of those things that you only really miss when it has gone. If you are spending all night tossing and turning, having vivid dreams or just finding it difficult you might be pondering how to get a better night sleep.
If you have been using the Wellspace solution you will know it isn’t just about how much sleep, you are getting but also the quality of it. You should also have a record of your sleep patterns too, which is really helpful in letting you see what is affecting your sleep.
This guide is not going to tell you to make your room dark and turn off your phone before bed-you probably know all that.
We are going to give you practical tips on how to get a better night sleep.
The Basics Of A Good Night Sleep
Ok, maybe we are going to tell you to make your room dark, but it is so important! Our brains are hard wired to go to sleep when it is dark. It is one of the many ways we stayed alive when we were all living in caves.
Similarly, we are programmed to find it difficult to go to sleep if we are cold, uncomfortable, or at risk.
But sleep is absolutely vital and is hardwired into us. Our brains and hormones are fine tuned to make us want to sleep, and in safe circumstances.
So, when we talk about making their bedroom a sanctuary, that really is what they mean.
Make sure your bed and bedroom are clean, comfortable, and safe and keep your room is at a temperature that is comfortable to you and is dark.
How to Prepare for A Good Night Sleep…During The Day
Believe it or not, how well you are going to sleep that night depends a lot on what you do during the day.
Without getting too scientific, your body relies on a circadian rhythm to get you to sleep when it is appropriate, and also wake when appropriate. Sleeping at night, awake in the day. Simple.
Making sure you get enough daylight is important because it keeps your circadian rhythm functioning correctly. If you can’t get enough daylight naturally, treat yourself to a special daylight lamp.
Another way to prepare for bedtime is to ditch the caffeine. Calm down, you can still have your morning cup of coffee, but just stop drinking caffeine from lunch onwards. This might mean switching to decaff coffee and tea or laying off the coke or Pepsi.
This one is important. Do not nap. You are tired because you haven’t been sleeping well. We get it. But just struggle through one day and you will sleep better for it at night. If you absolutely can’t manage, have a power nap. Set your alarm for 10 minutes and do not hit snooze! Napping can mess up your body clock and leave you lying awake at 3am.
How to Prepare for A Good Night Sleep…In The Evening
Yes, obviously it is bad to be looking at screens before we settle down to sleep. But who hasn’t spent 2 hours browsing Reddit or Insta for ‘5 more minuets’ after going to bed and straining to keep your eyes open?
Filter Blue Light
Everyone prepares for bed in their own way and if that is what relaxes you, then do it! Just make sure the blue light filter is on to stop your brain from staying awake. Studies have shown that blue light can prevent the brain from shutting off, making it harder to fall asleep.
Don’t eat late
Make sure you eat a nutritious meal a few hours before you go to bed and give it time to settle. Eating too late can cause sleep disturbances as the body digests the food.
Try to do something you find relaxing in the evenings. Reading, chatting, watching TV, or even having a long bath will help you get in the mood for a lovely long sleep. But avoid alcohol. It inhibits your melatonin production which can make it hard to drop off.
Finally, make sure you are going to bed at roughly the same time every night. Most of us spent our whole childhoods fighting against bedtimes, but it turns out our mother really did know best. A regular bedtime gets your body into a healthy circadian rhythm.
How to Prepare for A Good Night Sleep…In Bed
So, you have made it to bed, and you have followed all the tips above and you are still awake.
Maybe the room is to bright, your partner is snoring, or you just can’t switch off.
Check the environment
Are you warm enough? Are your feet cold? Is it too light or loud? Whatever is stopping you from drifting off, get up and fix it. Otherwise you are only going to lie there for another half hour suffering unless you put on some socks, or a jumper, or find some ear plugs.
Invest in an eye mask or some heavy curtains if there is light pollution. Buy some earplugs if there is an annoying noise you can’t control. Do what you need to do to remove that barrier to sleep.
Quieten your mind
Meditation is amazing for mental wellbeing, but a lot of people get 5 minutes in and drop off to sleep. Have a look at some apps like headspace for guided meditation, or just try to do some deep breaths and think about those instead of how much work you have to do tomorrow.
Relax your body
Try tensing every muscle in your body one at a time, starting with your feet and working up to your forehead. Do it a couple of times and then soften them all. Don’t forget to unclench your jaw. If you are a grinder it might stop you from doing it.
Imagine you are sinking into the bed or floating in a warm pool.
These techniques really work to help your body relax enough to allow you to nod off.
If all else fails and you really can’t get to sleep, get up. Have a light snack, read your book and try again. Lying there getting frustrated will only make it worse and sometimes, low blood sugar can prevent us sleeping.
Just don’t make a coffee and stick the telly on.
Track Your Sleep
Keeping a track of your sleep on the Wellspace wellbeing application will help you see what is working and what isn’t, so you can tailor your very own sleep programme.
Remember, if you need any help with your app, get in touch with us on email@example.com.