Top 10 sleep tips
Enjoying a truly good night’s sleep is extremely
important for both the mind and body. The ability to relax
completely, rest your mind, and allow your body to rejuvenate
will improve your overall wellbeing. If you do not feel
you are achieving this, you may need to make one or more
small changes from the list below, to give yourself a
better chance. A small change can make a big difference.
1. Create the right sleeping environment
2. Sleep in comfort
3. Exercise and relax your body
4. Relax your mind
5. Sleep at the right time
6. Do not smoke
7. Cut down on alcohol
8. Cut down on caffeine
9. Watch what you eat
10. Change your lifestyle
Create the right sleeping environment
Your bedroom should be reserved for rest and sleep, so
avoid turning it into a second living room.
It is much easier to sleep, and to remain asleep, when
the room is dark. Fit black out blinds or curtains to
avoid the morning sun waking you up early.
Keeping the room at the correct temperature is essential
for a good nights sleep. Avoid excessive heat and try
to use 100% natural bedding sheets, blankets and duvets
to avoid overheating (especially in the summer).
Noise and stimulation
It is best to avoid having televisions or computers in
a bedroom. If this is not practical, then avoid using
them immediately prior to going to sleep. (See the exercise
and relax your body section).
Sleep in comfort Firmness
Avoid choosing a mattress that is too firm or too soft,
a medium firmness mattress is ideal as long as it offers
a good level of support.
Type of Mattress
Good quality foam or memory foam mattresses tend to offer
both comfort and support, and can last for many years
Choose the largest bed you have the space for or opt for
separate beds. Being disturbed by a partner is one of
the most common interruptions to a good nights sleep.
You spend 8 hours a day, or a third of your life in bed,
so your mattress gets a lot of use. Change your mattress
every 8 -10 years.
This may be obvious, but all too often people see a bed
or mattress as a ‘cost’ not an ‘investment’.
Buying the cheapest bed or mattress instead of the best
you can afford may turn out to be a fools economy.
Exercise and relax your body
Regular exercise such as swimming or walking is good for
overall health and fitness. It also helps to relieve the
days stresses and strains, allowing your body to relax
and prepare for a good night’s sleep. Try to avoid
high intensity exercise too close to bedtime, as it may
take you longer to get to sleep.
Relax your body
Try to relax before going to bed, a warm bath, listen
to some quiet, soothing music or do some yoga.
Relax you mind
Clear your mind
When your mind continues to deal with the worries of the
day or the workload of tomorrow, it can be very difficult
to get to sleep quickly, if at all. Keep a pen and paper
by your bed, and write down a list of any problems or
tasks that are on your mind. This effectively files everything
away and ‘clears your desk’, allowing you
to relax, knowing you are prepared for the next day.
Sleep at the right time
By going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time,
all the time, your body and mind will thank you for it.
Your body likes routine; it will settle into a routine
and adjust your body clock accordingly.
Avoid over-sleeping or having a lie in
If you have not slept well, resist the urge to have a
lie-in or sleep longer than normal. Getting up at the
‘normal’ time keeps your body clock in time,
and resisting the urge to lie-in will pay dividends in
It is quite natural to have a dip in alertness between
2 - 4pm and taking a 15 minute nap can be a very effective
way of staying alert throughout the day. Avoid napping
for any longer than 20 minutes as after this you will
enter a deep sleep and feel even worse when you wake up
Yes, it's bad for sleep too: smokers take longer to fall
asleep, wake more often and often experience more sleep
Cut down on alcohol
Yes, alcohol is also bad for sleep too: Alcohol is a diuretic,
which means it encourages you to urinate (never welcome
during the night). A small nightcap is fine, but too much
alcohol can play havoc with sleep patterns. It may help
you fall asleep initially, but it will make you restless
which will prevent deep sleep.
Cut down on caffeine
Yes, caffeine joins the list as well: Drinking tea or
coffee (both of which are stimulants) especially in the
evening, will interfere with falling asleep and prevent
Have a hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.
Watch what you eat
Last meal of the day
Avoid eating a heavy meal too close to bedtime
Spicy or fatty foods
Avoid spicy or fatty foods as they may cause heartburn,
which leads to difficulty in falling asleep and discomfort
during the night.
Foods containing Tyramine (bacon, cheese, ham, aubergines,
pepperoni, raspberries avocado, nuts, soy sauce, red wine)
might keep you awake at night. Tyramine causes the release
of Norepinephrine, a brain stimulant.
If you get the munchies close to bedtime, eat something
that triggers the hormone serotonin, which makes you sleepy.
Carbohydrates such as bread, or cereal will do the trick.
Change your lifestyle
Try some of the lifestyle changes above; make a positive
change to the way you look after body during the day,
your body will reward you with a relaxing and enjoyable
sleep during the night.
See a doctor if the problem continues
Please sleep well, but at the same time, Sleepcheaper!