Struggling to sleep with all the doom and gloom in the world right now? With the help of Mind we’ve got a few quick tips to help you get a good nights sleep.
Make your room a calm space.
Make sure the light, temperature and sound level suits you. Cool, dark and quiet will usually work. Keep your bedroom mainly for sleeping; try to avoid watching television, listening to the radio, or eating in your bedroom.
Turn off electrical screens.
TVs, computers and phones all stimulate your brain, making it hard to relax – and especially during this time limit your news intake.
Try a breathing technique.
In a comfortable position, breathe in deeply – then breathe out slowly. Try to make your out-breath longer than your in-breath. Repeat until you feel relaxed.
Make a note about what you eat and drink.
Caffeine, alcohol and sugary foods can all disturb your sleep patterns. The NHS suggests that products containing caffeine (tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, soft drinks, etc.) should be discontinued at least 4 hours before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake. You should also avoid eating a large meal immediately before bedtime, although a light snack may help keep hunger at bay.
You should also avoid alcohol around bedtime because although it can promote sleep at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Doing some exercise will improve your sleep, as long as it’s not too late in the evening, the NHS suggests that a minimum of 2 hours before bedtime.
Check for a physical cause.
Pain, illness or other physical problems can disturb your sleep. If any of these are impacting on your sleep don’t be afraid to visit your GP to investigate potential causes. If you’re on any medication, speak to your GP as this may be causing your issues.
Plan your day.
Stop and think about your day and plan it out. Get all the stressful or worrying tasks out of the way early and then aim to relax and complete the less stressful tasks out in the evening.
Keep a sleep diary.
By keeping a sleep diary, you should be able to spot patterns in your everyday sleeping habits and give yourself an insight into what may be causing you problems. A diary will help to pinpoint if you’re consistently waking at a similar time, what you’ve done that day, what you’ve eaten etc to see if there is any pattern.
Here’s a link to download the Sleep Council sleep diary.
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