Getting enough sleep is a must. As well as leaving you tired, ill-tempered and unable to concentrate, a long-term lack of shuteye can lead to potentially serious health problems, including an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. If you struggle to sleep at night, rest assured you’re not alone. It’s thought that up to a third of people in the UK experience insomnia at some point each year. The good news is, there are simple steps you can take to achieve a deeper and more satisfying sleep. Here are five of the most effective.
1) Create the right environment
First and foremost, make sure you have a suitable sleeping environment. As part of this, you’ll need a comfy bed. Bear in mind that as well as traditional products, it’s now possible to purchase adjustable versions that can provide tailored support to help you achieve the ideal sleeping position. By visiting specialist websites such as www.adjustablebeds.co.uk, you can peruse the plethora of options available. For added comfort, it may be worth choosing a bed that features an in-built massage therapy system, providing welcome relief from aches and pains. Don’t forget to choose a high-quality mattress too.
As well as making sure your bed’s up-to-scratch, think carefully about the rest of the room. Ideally, this space should be dark, quiet and tidy. It may be worth investing in blackout curtains and, if your home tends to get noisy, some earplugs could come in handy.
2) Watch what you eat and drink
Pay attention to what you eat and drink too. Avoid consuming coffee or other caffeinated beverages late in the day and steer clear of too much alcohol. Although booze may help you to nod off more quickly, it tends to result in lighter and more disturbed slumber.
Sugary foods and heavy meals eaten in the evening can have a negative impact on your ability to sleep soundly too. This means it’s a good idea to have your main meal earlier in the day.
3) Stick to a steady sleeping routine
As long as your work and other commitments permit it, make sure you stick to a regular sleeping pattern. This will help you to programme your brain and body clock, making it easier to rest. Avoid the temptation to go to bed much later at the weekends or when you’re off work as this can throw your routine into disarray.
4) Take some time to relax before bed
It’s well worth setting a little time aside to relax and unwind at the end of the day before you try to sleep. Perhaps you’d benefit from sinking into a warm bath, or maybe relaxation exercises like yoga are more your thing. Reading or listening to the radio might also help to calm you down.
5) Leave the laptop and turn off the tablet
There’s no escaping the fact that we live in a digital world now. From shopping and watching videos online to checking social media and responding to work emails, you might feel like you spend much of your day glued to a screen. However, research has suggested that using devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets right up to bedtime can make it harder for people to drift off. So, if possible, make your bedroom a screen-free zone.
These steps may not completely rid you of your insomnia, but by following them you stand a better chance of getting a good night’s rest.