According to The Great British Bedtime Report, put together by the Sleep Council, 27% of people experience poor quality sleep on a regular basis.
But getting a good night’s sleep is easier than it sounds.
If you’re struggling to sleep or waking up feeling even more tired than when you first climbed into bed, then why not follow these four tips to rest and recharge more effectively?
1. Write away your stresses
47% of people say that they’re kept awake at night by stress. Have you ever climbed into bed and found that you’re suddenly thinking about all of the things that you haven’t properly dealt with during the day? You’re not alone!
Negative thoughts take over once we’re lying in bed because we’re no longer kept busy by all of those little day-to-day activities that distract us when we’re awake.
Keep a notepad by your bed. As you lie down, pick up your notepad. Write a list of jobs that you need to do in the future, along with any other thoughts about your day.
Putting your thoughts onto paper allows your mind to let them go, which means that you’ll fall asleep easier. Your tasks will still be there in the morning, waiting for you to pick them up again.
2. Consider separate beds
It’s generally accepted that partners should sleep together, sharing a bed every night. But, sleeping next to someone else affects the quality of your sleep.
If you have space, consider putting a spare bed in a separate room. You can use this as your guest room when friends come to visit.
Sleeping in separate beds for even one night a week can significantly increase your energy levels. This doesn’t mean that you love each other less or your marriage is about to crumble. It just means that you value the chance to sleep well, with room to stretch out like a starfish!
3. Turn bedtime into a big event
Are you ready to give up by bedtime? Do you collapse into bed in just a t-shirt and your underwear, with your phone screen to keep you company?
You’re not winding down effectively. Turn bedtime into a ceremony.
Make sure that you have high-quality pyjamas that are worn just for bed – get changed just before bedtime and change again when you get out of bed, don’t be tempted to use them as loungewear on a lazy Sunday morning! Your brain will associate these clothes with sleep if you do this for a while.
Keep your phone away from your bed, and give yourself a more calming routine that prepares you for restful sleep. Listening to soothing music for 45 minutes before bed, for example, is associated with deeper and more restful sleep.
Following the same bedtime routine night after night will help your body and mind to relax. Don’t rush through. Savor your bedtime routine.
4. Exercise regularly
What you do during the day can impact your sleep as much as how you settle down at night. Regular exercise (5-6 days per week) can improve the quality of your sleep and will help you to fall asleep more quickly.
A few hours before bed, go for a walk around your neighborhood. Remember that exercise can provide an immediate energy boost, so don’t do this immediately before you make your way to your bedroom. Perhaps schedule a short walk after dinner, before you settle down in front of the TV?
Many people prefer to exercise in the morning, to prepare them for the day ahead. Exercise, even before sunrise, sets you up for a productive day and will help you to sleep well at night.