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Tips for getting a good nights sleep

It’s well-established that sleep is essential to both our physical and mental health, so we’ve pulled together some top tips from our friends at the Sleep Foundation to help you sleep better…

Creating a Sleep-Inducing Bedroom

It really all comes back to the room and its contents… by doing the following it will help fall asleep quickly and easily.

Making your bedroom a place of comfort and relaxation is so important, though this might seem obvious, it’s overlooked more often that you’d think.

When pulling together the elements of your sleep environment, focus maximizing comfort and minimizing distractions, including with these tips:

Use a Good Quality Mattress and Pillow: The best mattress and pillow for your needs and preferences is vital to making sure that you are comfortable enough to relax it will also ensure that your spine gets proper support to avoid aches and pains.

Choose Good Quality Bedding: Your sheets play a major role in helping your room feel inviting. Look for bedding that feels comfortable to the touch and that will help maintain a comfortable temperature during the night.

Avoid Light Disruption: Excess light exposure can throw off your sleep and circadian rhythm. Blackout curtains over your windows or a sleep mask for over your eyes can block light and prevent it from interfering with your rest.

Cultivate Peace and Quiet: Keeping noise to a minimum is an important part of building a sleep-positive bedroom. If you can’t eliminate nearby sources of noise, consider drowning them out with a fan or white noise machine. Earplugs or headphones are another option to stop abrasive sounds from bothering you when you want to sleep.

Find an Agreeable Temperature: You don’t want your bedroom temperature to be a distraction by feeling too hot or too cold. The ideal temperature can vary based on the individual, but most research supports sleeping in a cooler room that is around 18 degrees.

Optimise Your Sleep Schedule

Taking control of your daily sleep schedule is a powerful step towards getting better sleep. To start try implementing these four strategies:

Set a Fixed Wake-Up Time: It’s close to impossible for your body to get accustomed to a healthy sleep routine if you’re constantly waking up at different times. Pick a wake-up time and stick with it, even on weekends or other days when you would otherwise be tempted to sleep in.

Adjust Your Schedule Gradually: When you need to change your sleep schedule, it’s best to make adjustments little-by-little and over time with a maximum difference of 1-2 hours per night. This allows your body to get used to the changes so that following your new schedule is more sustainable.

Be Careful With Naps: To sleep better at night, it’s important to use caution with naps. If you nap for too long or too late in the day, it can throw off your sleep schedule and make it harder to get to sleep when you want to. The best time to nap is shortly after lunch in the early afternoon, and the best nap length is around 20 minutes.

Budget Time for Sleep: If you want to make sure that you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, then you need to build that time into your schedule. Considering your fixed wake-up time, work backwards and identify a target bedtime. Whenever possible, give yourself extra time before bed to get ready for sleep.

Age Range Recommended Sleep
0-3 months old
14 – 17 hours
4-11 months old
12 – 15 hours
1-2 years old
11 – 14 hours
3-5 years old
10 – 13 hours
6 – 13 years old
9 – 11 hours
14 – 17 years old
8 – 10 hours
18 – 25 years old
7 – 9 hours
26 – 64 years old
7 – 9 hours
65 and more years old
7– 8 hours

If You Can’t Fall Asleep

Whether it’s when you first get into bed or after waking up in the middle of the night, you may find it hard to drift off to sleep. These tips help explain what to do when you can’t sleep:

Try Relaxation Techniques: Don’t focus on trying to fall asleep; instead, focus on just trying to relax. Controlled breathing, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery are examples of relaxation methods that can help ease you into sleep.

Don’t Stew in Bed: You want to avoid a connection in your mind between your bed and frustration from sleeplessness. This means that if you’ve spent around 20 minutes in bed without being able to fall asleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing in low light. Avoid checking the time during this time. Try to get your mind off of sleep for at least a few minutes before returning to bed.

Experiment With Different Methods: Sleeping problems can be complex and what works for one person may not work for someone else. As a result, it makes sense to try different approaches to see what works for you. Just remember that it can take some time for new methods to take effect, so give your changes time to kick in before assuming that they aren’t working for you.

Keep a Sleep Diary: A daily sleep journal can help you keep track of how well you’re sleeping and identify factors that might be helping or hurting your sleep. If you’re testing out a new sleep schedule or other sleep hygiene changes, the sleep diary can help document how well it’s working.

Talk With a Doctor: A doctor is in the best position to offer detailed advice for people with serious difficulties sleeping. Talk with your doctor if you find that your sleep problems are worsening, persisting over the long-term, affecting your health and safety (such as from excessive daytime sleepiness), or if they occur alongside other unexplained health problems.

Find Out More By Visiting The Sleep Foundation Website: Visit our friends over at the Sleep Foundation to find out even more about sleeping, more helpful sleeping tips and more.

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