Are you finding that you’re struggling to sleep at the moment? You’re definitely not alone, particularly in these strange and challenging times. Whilst there isn’t an exact science on how to get to sleep there are definitely a few sleep tips we can give you to help you have the best chance of a restful night’s sleep. Working on your sleep hygiene and practicing mindfulness at night are just some of the things you can do to build a healthier sleep pattern and get that much-needed shuteye. Here are some tips and tricks to help you sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed.
Resist the urge to nap
When you’re feeling lethargic, an afternoon nap can feel very tempting. However, if you don’t usually sleep during the day, this could have an impact on your ability to sleep at night. If you’re using naps as part of your routine (for example if you have young children) try to have one nap per day at 1pm or 2pm and limit it to about 30 minutes if possible.
Go outside and get moving
‘Getting up and exposing yourself to daylight in the morning will help regulate your body clock,’ says sleep expert James Wilson. By getting outside and doing exercise in the daytime this will help to lift your mood and contribute to you feeling physically tired at the end of the day.
Switch off the technology
From video calls with family to online workouts, digital devices and technology are a massive help for many of us at this time, but it’s still important to switch off and try and limit screen time. The blue light emitted by phones, tablets and televisions all restrain the production of the melatonin hormone, meaning you may find it harder to fall and stay asleep. Many mobile devices have a sleep-friendly ‘night shift’ setting so use this if you can, especially in the hour before bed.
Read at night, but not the news
Try to limit the amount of time you spend scanning news coverage for updates and try to do so during the day so that it’s less likely to play on your mind at night. Bad news fires up your nervous system and induces stress. When it comes to bedtime why not try reading a book instead? Revisiting a book you’ve enjoyed in the past can work well before sleep.
Write things down
Writing down your worries before going to bed can empty your mind of any distractions. Why not also write down a ‘to do’ list for the next day can organise your thoughts by putting them onto a piece of paper and leaving them there until the morning.
Try to get a sleep routine
Keeping a consistent bedtime and wake-up routine will help you fall and stay asleep at night. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time but if you do fancy a lie in, try to do it at the weekend and limit it to an hour.
Don’t work from your bed
If you’re working from home, it may feel like a luxury to work from under your duvet, but if you’ve got the space, don’t do it. It’s better to try and create an area of your home that’s specifically for work.
Your thoughts and how you process them can both hinder and aid your sleep. Taking a moment for your wellbeing by practicing mindfulness can make a difference. Next time you’re feeling anxious about something or frustrated about being awake, try to acknowledge and accept your thoughts as you lie in bed and gently distance yourself from them and be compassionate about them.
Here’s to some restful nights and bright mornings! Have you got any sleep tips that are working for you? Share with us over on our intu Facebook page.