Sleep is such an important part of our daily routine and yet, so many of us neglect it. Lack of sleep can reduce our reaction times, make us more irritable and grumpy, make us more susceptible to stress and reduce our creative abilities, in essence making us a shadow of our well-rested selves. If you suspect that you’re running on empty and need to get a few more hours in your sleep tank then here are 5 tips to help you fight fatigue and get a better nights sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
We all know that caffeine can keep us up at night but did you know that alcohol and tobacco are also stimulants? Many people actually rely on alcohol as a relaxant, but not only can this lead to addictive behaviour it may also be having be doing the reverse of what you were hoping it would by affecting your ability to sleep. If you suspect that you have a problem with alcohol then speak to your GP or contact an alcohol rehab centre for advice. Try to avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol for at least a few hours before bed to help you drift off to sleep more easily.
- Reassess your sleep environment
For a night of good quality sleep, you want to aim for a cool, dark and quiet rest space. Remove any distractions such as your phone, any digital devices that may light up throughout the night and turn off anything which could make noise and wake you. If you find that you are particularly sensitive to light then you may wish to reinforce your usual curtains or blinds with a blackout lining to make sure that your room stays dark despite an early sunrise.
- Stay cool
People love a fluffy duvet and layers of cosy blankets but being too warm at night is actually a common reason why many people can’t sleep. Have a thinner duvet and layer with a blanket that you can easily throw off if you get too warm, or try sleeping with the window cracked open or a quiet fan blowing. If you have your central heating on then maybe put it on a timer to go off at night and come on again in the morning so that your room doesn’t get too hot.
- Avoid digital devices
The blue light from your computer, phone, iPad or television can stop you from falling asleep. Try to disconnect from digital devices at least an hour before bedtime. Try reading a book or listening to a podcast instead and give your eyes time to adjust away from the screens. Phones and social media, in particular, stimulate our brains keeping them active and its no wonder that when we then close our eyes our minds are still hard at work.
- Have a bedtime
Our bodies are creatures of habit and they love a routine. If you can, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to allow your bodies sleep timer to get into a routine. Not only will this help you to fall asleep but it can also help you get up in the morning too.
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