Simple ways to improve your sleep
A lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health. In the short term, it can cause tiredness and irritability, while prolonged insomnia can increase your risk of serious medical problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. It can also make you more prone to depression and anxiety. The good news is, there are simple steps you can take to improve your sleep, and here are some of the most effective.
Invest in some bedroom basics
Firstly, it’s a good idea to focus on creating the perfect sleeping space. For example, if you don’t already have them, you might benefit from investing in blackout curtains or blinds. These window dressings prevent light from outside streaming in and disturbing your slumber.
It’s vital that you have a sturdy bed too, and a comfy mattress is a must. There are a host of mattress designs to choose from, including pocket sprung, memory foam and latex versions. Don’t panic if you’re not sure which designs will work best for you, you can always read a mattresses buying guide as the one done by Tesco, to get the lowdown on your options.
Stick to a routine
It also pays off to get into a good routine. For example, try going to bed and getting up at the same times each day, even when you’re not working. It’s important to burn energy during the day by doing regular exercise. However, make sure you stop exercising at least four hours before you go to bed. This will help ensure your body had cooled down before you try to fall asleep.
Watch your diet
Watch what you eat and drink too. You might need to cut down on your intake of stimulants such as caffeine, and steer clear of these products in the evenings. Avoid drinking too much alcohol as well. Although booze can help you to drift off at night, it tends to lead to more disrupted sleep. Another top tip is to avoid big or spicy meals late in the evening.
Take some time to relax before bed
It’s also savvy to set aside a little time before you hit the hay to relax and unwind. Try not to watch TV or use your computer or other screens in the run-up to lights-out, these activities can stimulate the brain, making it harder for you to sleep. Instead, try taking a warm bath, read a book or listen to the radio, all of which are far more conducive to getting some shut-eye.
By following advice like this, you should find it easier to sleep soundly at night. If you still can’t get enough sleep after making these changes, the try talking to your doctor, who can offer you advice and guidance on other methods to help you get a good night’s kip.
Images by Pedro Ribeiro Simões and Maria Elena used under the Creative Commons license. Disclaimer this post was in collaboration with Tesco