We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep – it’s proven that a solid eight hours makes us more productive during the day, not to mention happier and more able to deal with the daily stresses of life.
Not getting enough sleep makes us grouchy, snappy and emotional – it affects everything from our performance at work to how we are at home. So how can we guarantee a good night’s sleep? Luckily, there are a few small changes that can make all the difference to the quality of our shut-eye.
Create a sleep schedule
It may make you feel like a toddler being put to bed at the same time every night, but following your own sleep schedule can also help you feel more rested. Aim to start your bedtime routine around the same time every night, then set your alarm for the same time every morning. Your body clock will soon follow this rhythm automatically and start preparing for sleep, making it easier to wind down.
Get into a routine
Similar to above, a bedtime routine will help your body understand when it’s time to relax, and helps you separate bedtime from more exciting activities. Pop your PJs on, cleanse, tone and moisturise, light a candle and relax with a book for an hour before bed to help tune out the stresses of the day.
Reduce your blue light exposure
Your body clock uses light as a queue for sleep – bright daylight = awake, darkness = asleep. Using your phone right before bed can interfere with this rhythm, because the bright blue light mimics daylight and can send the wrong signals to your body clock. If you have trouble falling asleep on a night, try switching your phone to night mode from an hour before you go to bed, and don’t look at it at all once you’re in bed.
Watch the caffeine
It’s an obvious one, but drinking a coffee at 8pm is a recipe for a bad night’s sleep! Caffeine is a stimulant and it can stay in your bloodstream for 6-8 hours, so try avoid it in the evening. If you love a late night hot drink, try warm milk or a herbal tea instead.
Organise your bedroom
A quiet, calm bedroom can make a big difference to your sleep. Noise in particular can be really disturbing, so try minimise outside sounds as much as possible – heavy curtains can block traffic noise and will also keep light out and ensure you’re not woken up when the sun starts to rise. A lavender scented candle or pillow spray will create a relaxing atmosphere, while good quality bedding will keep you comfy all night long.