1 November 2018
We all need a good night’s sleep. It’s essential for us to function properly in our daily lives. Sleeping is how we store memories and experiences, and how we rest and replenish our body for the day ahead. According to the Sleep Council’s Great British Bedtime report, one in three British people have suffered with sleep problems for over 5 years. That’s a lot of restless nights.
Lack of sleep can be a viscous cycle. Sleeping badly can be caused by anxiety and depression, and even when it isn’t, not getting enough slumber can make us feel depressed and anxious.
We have probably all experienced the odd restless night. This doesn’t do us any harm as long as we can catch up the next night.
For that third of people who can’t get their forty winks, going to bed and dropping off easily just doesn’t happen. Without a good night’s sleep, it is difficult to find the energy to do all the things we need to do in our busy lives. Usually, it is worry or stress that keeps us awake. And once a habit of resting badly is in place, it can continue even if the worry that caused it has gone.
The good news it there is no need to suffer from sleeplessness. Here are my five top tips for getting a better night’s rest.
Stop worrying about the amount of sleep you get. Different people need differing amounts of sleep, depending on their age and activity levels. Focus instead on getting the right amount of rest for you, rather than worrying about getting a fixed eight hours. Many people with sleep problems develop anxiety over how much shuteye they are getting and this makes it harder for them to relax come bedtime.
Keep a sleep diary. Often you are getting more than you think. Keeping a sleep record can help you to find out exactly what is going on at night and make it easier to treat.
Learn to relax and clear your mind. When you lie in bed, try to think about something relaxing such as being on a beach looking at the ocean, or going for a long, leisurely walk in the countryside. Picture it in your mind, including what you would see, hear and smell. Use your imagination to feel what it would be like to be there. Try and focus on your breathing to deepen your relaxation, making it easier to drop off at night. Breathe in through the nose and slowly exhale. Try and make your out breath last longer than the in breath. Click here for more on how to relax.
Keep an eye on your caffeine intake. Drinking caffeine close to bedtime will make it more difficult to sleep. Try and avoid coffee, tea, chocolate and cola four hours before going to bed.
Have a bedtime routine. Try and spend the hour before bed unwinding and preparing for sleep. Turn down bright lights, listen to relaxing music and try not to look at electronic devices. It helps to go to bed and get up at the same time every day so your body knows what to expect.
For more information on how I can help you with your sleep click here.Back to blog listing
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