Do you struggle to sleep at night? Are you always tired in the middle of the day? Between work, family, and social commitments we’re busier than ever. When we’re busy one of the first things to suffer is our sleep. With 1 in 3 us suffering from poor sleep, we look at how to create good bedtime habits.
1. Set a bedtime
Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night, with the exact amount depending on the individual. One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the hours of sleep you need is to set regular sleep hours. By going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning you will train your body to be ready for sleep. While you’re getting into this routine try to avoid napping during the day, as this can disrupt your sleep cycle.
2. Create the right sleep environment
Dark, quiet, and cool environments make it easier to fall and stay asleep. If you’re woken by sunlight in the morning, invest in some blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out the morning light. Although it’s tempting to watch TV and check social media on our phones, you should avoid screens at least an hour before bed. Instead do a relaxing activity such as having a bath, reading a book, or meditating to relax your body and mind. If you prefer guided meditations there are plenty of mindfulness apps available, such as Headspace and Calm, with specific features to improve sleep such as sleep stories, mediations, soundscapes and music.
3. Exercise during the day
Moderate aerobic exercise such as jogging, cycling and swimming increases the amount of deep sleep you get. Deep sleep is the restorative stage of sleep where your body repairs itself both physically and mentally. However, make sure that you don’t exercise too vigorously close to bedtime, as that can negatively affect your sleep. If the only option is to exercise at night, try more relaxing techniques such as yoga.
4. Reduce caffeine and alcohol
Stimulants such as caffeine can significantly disrupt sleep and it is recommended that you don’t drink them at least six hours before you go to bed. If you crave a warm drink in the evening, try a herbal tea or a decaffeinated version of your favourite beverage. Alcohol can make you feel drowsy and help you fall asleep, but a couple of drinks can interrupt your natural sleep cycle, which can make you feel tired the next day. Try substituting your favourite tipple with a low alcohol or alcohol-free alternative. If you do have an alcoholic drink in the evening, you should give your body time to process it before going to bed. On average it can take one hour to process one unit of alcohol.
5. Try a supplement
If you’d like some additional support, try a supplement such as Bioglan Active Magnesium. Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral, as it is involved with over 350 biochemical reactions within our bodies to support energy production, which can reduce tiredness and fatigue. It’s also supports muscle health so is perfect for restless sleepers, regular exercisers, the elderly and workers who are stressed and working long hours. Available in three formats to suit your needs and lifestyle: Tablets, Cream and Powder
If you have any serious worries or concerns about your sleep patterns, speak to your GP or a registered sleep specialist.