Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.
Sleep patterns change with age! We sleep less, lighter, wake more and are more sensitive to noise. Right routines, environment and aid getting enough sleep to keep us healthy and feel rested.
Keep your sleep patterns regular
Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. If you struggle with your sleep, avoid lying in.
Be active in the day
Tire yourself out by being physically active during the day. For some, that means getting plenty of exercise, for others that means pottering in the garden or walking to the shop. Spending time outside can also help to make you feel more tired.
Make bedtime feel like bedtime
Have an evening ritual. This is personal – try some different things before settling on what works for you. Try reading a book, having a bath, or doing some gentle stretching. In bed, try not to look at your phone and avoid watching TV. LED light from digital screens can prevent the brain from releasing the sleep hormone melatonin.
A quick nap in the day can help with alertness later. But longer than 30mins and you risk not getting a good sleep at night.
Watch what you eat and drink
Avoid heavy meals late at night. Lighter meals, at least 3 hours before you go to bed are ideal. Drinking coffee after lunch can mean you’re too caffeinated to get to sleep. Alcohol affects sleep too, try cutting down for a bit and seeing if it makes a difference to your sleep?
Make your bedroom a haven
Your bedroom should be a calm, relaxing environment. Fresh, clean bedding can help you feel cosy and sleepy. Try a hot water bottle, microwave heaty bag, or some fluffy socks. A dark, quiet bedroom is also best. Try using earplugs for noise. If it’s too bright – blackout blinds, curtains, or an eye mask.
Don’t lie awake if you can’t sleep
Wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to nod off again? Wait for 20 mins, if still awake, get up, go into another room. Do something relaxing, like reading – avoid activities like housework or TV, as they wake you up too much. After 20 mins, go back to bed and see if you can fall asleep. If not, repeat!!
You should talk to your doctor if you regularly experience chronic sleep problems.