Do you lie awake at night, wondering how to get to sleep? While we may have the best intentions of heading off to bed at a reasonable time, for lots of us, the 'land of nod' is a place rarely visited.
However, there are some great tips and tricks that will help set you up for a good eight hours. And none of them involve counting sheep...
Keep Your Room Dark
Take a look around your room - are there any devices omitting light unnecessarily? Switch off any hallway lights that could be streaming through the doorway, replace any bulbs with low-wattage versions and cover any devices that could be lighting up your room. Yes, that includes your alarm clock or phone - we know it’s hard but you can do it!
INTRODUCE PLANTS INTO YOUR HOME
Thought indoor plants were just there to look good? You thought wrong. According to Nasa, pineapple plants produce oxygen and improve air quality throughout the night and therefore, aid better (and less snore-disturbed) sleep.
So if your partner is a notorious snorer, a pineapple plant, could be the bedroom revolution you have been waiting for! Asda Plant Buyer, Phil Smith tells us, “snorts, snuffles and splutters affect a quarter of Brits, so for those 16 million snorers, Asda’s pineapple plant could be a dream come true – even more-so for sleep-deprived partners.
"For those lucky enough to sleep through the night... the plant is a chic addition to the home which is easy to care for and adds a little touch of 'The Tropics' to any room.”
Stick to a Schedule
Our bodies like routine so try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day and night. Fight through the post-dinner drowsiness and choose a time when you’d naturally be tired to keep any tossing and turning to a minimum.
Wind Down with a Bedtime Ritual
What do you do before bed? If you worry about what you didn’t manage to complete at work that day – stop! The stress is not going to help you have a better quality sleep.
Instead, write a to-do list of what you’d like to achieve and run a warm bath with some bubbles or shower to help your body reach a nice temperature for rest. Relax your mind before you turn in by listening to calming music or reading a book.
No More Naps
We always want what we can’t have and naps are just one example of this. Lunchtime siestas can often incorporate the deeper stage of sleep, resulting in a lighter than normal sleep at night. If you must nap, keep it short and do it in the morning.
Get Your Heart Racing Every Day
Not only does daily exercise tire you out so you crave a good rest, but it also helps to lower your body temperature for a deeper sleep. All you need is 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day, but do it at least three hours before you hit the hay to avoid that post-exercise buzz at bedtime. If you can’t fit in exercise during the day or early evening, a few yoga stretches will still help.
Make Your Bedroom Sleep-Friendly
Clutter is an enormous energy drainer and creator of stress, and the dust that hides beneath your mess can spoil a good night’s sleep, especially if you have asthma or allergies. A regular vacuum of the floor and a damp dust of furniture can help you sleep easy.
Step Away From the Screens
A common problem for many of us is turning off the screen, whether it’s the television, the iPad, the laptop or a smartphone. All of these backlit screen devices stimulate our minds which is not great when you're trying to doze off.