How to improve your sleep


Everyone is dealing with lockdown in different ways but what I am hearing is that quite a few people are having problems sleeping.

We need sleep; it’s a vital part of daily life, if you have ever had a baby you will know how difficult it is to function as a human being without sleep! In fact, sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture during interrogation, I don’t know about you, but if I was denied sleep for days on end I would soon surrender!

Not being able to sleep properly can really affect us; we feel constantly tired and may find ourselves nodding off during the day. Our concentration and decision making is poor and we can generally feel depressed.

Below are some tips to help you to improve your quality of sleep.

  • Try to keep to your normal bedtime routine; go to bed at the same time at night and get up at the same time in the morning to help regulate your body clock.
  • Wind down before you go to bed, have a relaxing hot bath with soothing aromatherapy oils and bubbles.
  • Clear your mind; write down anything that is worrying you, you can deal with this in the morning.
  • Read a book or listen to a narrated one in bed.
  • Try not to nap in the day so that you are tired when you go to bed.
  • Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible, clear away clutter, make sure that it’s not too hot or cold.
  • Try some mood lighting, your retinas contain photosensitive cells which  pick up surrounding light and send it as a message to the part of your brain that is in control of your internal clock; this tells your body that you’re tired or awake. The cells are mostly sensitive to both blue and white lights, which suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel sleepy. Those same cells are the least sensitive to warmer colours such as orange, and especially red, which increases melatonin and doesn’t disrupt our internal clock.
  • Smart devices also stimulate photosensitive cells so don’t be tempted to scroll through your phone or iPad, read a book instead.
  • Listen to a relaxation app, there are so many available free of charge ranging from meditation, visualisation and relaxation techniques to help you to drift off.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, smoking and alcohol before going to bed.
  • Avoid having a heavy meal before bedtime but , don’t go to bed hungry.
  • Be active during the day. Many people who struggle to sleep have an increased amount of stress hormones in the blood which keeps them hyper-awake. Exercise reduces these stress hormones for several hours after exercise.
  • If you do manage to get off to sleep relatively easy but find yourself wide awake for hours in the middle of the night, problems can be magnified in can feel like you are the only person in the world who is awake.  The more you clock watch and count down the hours until you have to get up the less chance there is of sleeping. It will be better to read a book or listen to some soothing music or relaxation app (wear earphones if you are worried that you will disturb someone) , even though you are not sleeping your body is relaxing and it will distract you from your thoughts.
  • Hopefully these tip swill help but, If  you have tried everything and the problem lasts for more than four weeks then you should speak to your GP.

Sleep tight!


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