Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. It helps us to feel alert and energetic during the day, as well as repair and refresh after injury and exercise. But getting a good night’s sleep can be harder than it seems.
1. Stick to a routine
Going to sleep and getting up at the same times each day can really help to improve the quality of your sleep. You need to find your natural sleep-wake cycle and stick to it, even at weekends. If you keep waking up with your alarm feeling very tired, try going to bed a little earlier.
2. Wind down before bed
If you have trouble falling asleep when you go to bed, it might be because you’re not giving yourself time to relax. Avoid the temptation of looking at your phone or thinking about what’s coming tomorrow or the stresses of the day that’s been. Read a book, listen to some relaxing music, or have a bath.
3. Don’t have a nightcap
Drinking a lot of caffeine during the day, such as coffee and energy drinks, can interrupt your sleep even if you don’t drink it close to bedtime. Alcohol has a similar effect, despite the tradition of a nightcap before bed, so try to limit your intake.
4. Have a comfy bed
This might seem obvious, but so many of us sleep on mattresses that are too firm or too soft. If you wake up with an aching neck or back, you should try different pillows or toppers, or get a new mattress if yours is getting old and not supporting you properly.
5. Exercise during the day
The more active you are during the day, the better you’ll sleep at night. Just going for a walk in the early evening can help to improve sleep when you go to bed, but staying active and doing exercise during the day is even better.