Thursday 12th October 2023
Showground, Wadebridge

Top 10 tips to help you sleep better

We all need sleep and we all need good sleep. Whether you get it or not, is an entirely different matter. Here are some tips to getting a better night sleep, helping you to be ready for the next day’s challenges.

Electronic Devices

Do you use some type of electronic device – your phone, tablet, TV, computer or laptop, within an hour of going to bed? Most of us would answer yes to this question but it really is not the best idea. Not only do these things stimulate the brain into activity, the light produced suppresses the production of melatonin – the sleepy hormone created by your brain. With an active brain and little melatonin sleep will be evasive or disturbed.

Tip 1: Put away your electronic devices a minimum of 30 minutes (longer if possible) before you get into bed. That way your brain can relax and start producing melatonin.

Caffeine

We all like a good cup of coffee or tea, especially if you are in need of a pick me up. It might surprise you that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it!

Tip 2: Cut down on your overall caffeine intake and consider eliminating it completely if you can after lunch.

Exercise

There’s that word again. For some of us it is the hardest thing to do. As hard as it can be to fit it into a busy schedule or to get the motivation, it can really improve your sleep. Try to finish your exercise a good couple of hours before you go to bed to so that you’re not too lively up to get to sleep.

Tip 3: Try to do 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.

Temperature

Too hot and you wake up, too cold and you wake up. A comfortable temperature is between 15-19°C but it does vary according to each individual.

Tip 4: It is great to have some fresh air circulating with an open window, but make sure you are warm enough.

Noise

Noise can disturb your sleeping pattern no matter how brief or quiet. Sometimes noise can come from unusual sources – a whistling plug or bubbling radiator, so try to check your room for noise before you go to bed. Other sources of noise can be right in your ear such as a snoring partner!

Tip 5: If you can’t remove the noise, try ear plugs or something that will produce a continuous noise such as a fan or a white noise machine. If you sleep with your phone or pad next to you put it onto flight mode or silent so that the 2am email newsletter doesn’t pull you out of sleep.

Comfort

We all have those times when it is just impossible to get comfy! If this is a regular occurrence for you, consider changing your mattress (life expectancy is generally approximately 10 years) or change your pillow. If you are waking up through the night due to low grade pain this is your first thing to check. If your pillow and mattress are supportive but you are still waking up in pain, book in for a session of Bowen Therapy.

Tip 6: Make sure your mattress is comfy and supportive and that your pillow isn’t giving you neck ache.

Darkness

Light tells your brain that it’s time to wake up, darkness means it’s time to sleep. Even a small amount of ambient light from your phone or tablet can disrupt the production of melatonin and overall sleep. If you need to visit the bathroom at night it is best to keep the light as low as possible. If it is safe to do so, use a torch rather than turn on the landing light. This will make it easier to go back to sleep afterwards.

Tip 7: Make your room as dark as possible at night, try using a black out blind or use an eye mask.

Bedtime Ritual

A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime, away from bright lights, helps to distinguish your sleep time from daily activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety. Relaxing your brain can make it easier to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep. This means not storing tomorrows to do list in your head, rather than jotting it down. Relaxing activities can include: a warm drink (not caffeine), reading a book or magazine, listening to calming quiet music, wind down with a favorite hobby (not to tasking for the brain), do some gentle stretches, focusing on your breathing, you get the idea.

Tip 8: Come up with your own set of rituals to help you wind down and prepare your mind and body for sleep.

Have a Sleep Schedule

Go to bed at the same time each day, try to make this when you normally feel tired so that you don’t toss and turn. Obviously the weekends mean its tempting to stay up late but this can have a knock on effect on your sleep for days. If you want to change the time you go to sleep, be kind to your body and try to make small changes such as 15 minutes earlier or later each day.

If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm – Does this happen to anyone now? If you need an alarm clock to wake up on time (you’re not the only one!) you may need to set an earlier bedtime. Try to maintain your regular wake-time even on weekends. Even if you want a lay in, get up at the same time, move around for a few minutes and then go back to bed. As annoying as that is, it makes a difference the next day.

Tip 9: Turn the light off at the same time each day and get up at the same time each morning.

Pets and children

It is estimated that over 50% of pet owners who sleep with their pets, experience sleep disruption every night. That increases to more than 80% of adults who sleep with their children in their bed who have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Pets and children can be some of the biggest bed hoggers and can be really bad sleepers.

Tip 10: Everyone deserves their own sleeping space and a good night sleep, so try to keep pets and children in their own bed.

This blog story was provided by Bowen by Danielle.