How do you feel after a bad night’s sleep? Awful, right? How do you feel after a few weeks or months of bad sleep? Okay. Do you know why? Because being tired becomes the new normal for you. You might think you’re doing fine, but the truth is, you’re not operating at your best. Your energy is low, and you’re not performing as well as you could be. The thing is, you might not even realise it because feeling subpar has become your normal state. But here’s the thing: sleep is more important than you might think. When you get good rest, your brain works better, and your body can recover faster from illnesses. In fact, not getting enough sleep has been linked to issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even depression. Sleep is important!
So, how do we improve it?
Have a routine
Human beings are inherently inclined toward routines. Our bodies function more efficiently when they anticipate what’s coming next. Establishing a consistent bedtime each night can lead to your body developing an automatic response, recognising that it’s time for sleep. Additionally, having a pre-sleep routine, like enjoying a warm bath and reading a book most nights, can further reinforce this pattern.
No caffeine before bed
You don’t have to give up your cup of sanity altogether. It’s more about when you have it than if you have it. Coffee has been shown to have some benefits for the body, but it’s essential to consume it in moderation and primarily in the earlier part of the day. When coffee is consumed later in the day, the caffeine can stimulate your nervous system and potentially interfere with your body’s natural ability to relax at night. Consider making 2 pm the latest time you enjoy a cup of coffee to ensure a better night’s sleep.
Create a good bedroom environment
Have you ever spent a night in a hotel room and wondered why you slept so soundly? Chances are, it’s because the room provided a conducive bedroom environment. What does this mean, exactly? Well, your surroundings play a significant role in your mental well-being. A cluttered and chaotic room can contribute to a cluttered and chaotic mind. So, if you find yourself sleeping in a room filled with laundry and dirty dishes, it’s likely to have an impact on your overall well-being.
To promote a restful environment, ensure that your bedroom is a place that brings you tranquillity and happiness. Fresh, clean sheets, soft lighting, and perhaps a room deodoriser to make it smell as inviting as it looks can all contribute to creating a soothing atmosphere.
Relax to the max
Many people lie in bed and immediately start thinking about everything that happened during the day and all the things they need to do tomorrow. We all know how hard it is to relax, but it’s essential for a good night’s sleep and for how you’ll feel the next day.
So, how can you relax? You can try taking a warm bath or shower before bed, getting into the habit of reading a book, or practising mindfulness meditation techniques. Learning how to relax is a skill that takes time, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work perfectly the first few nights.
Exercise in the day
Movement during the day is important for a good night’s sleep. What exercise you do is up to you, as long as you’re moving. Go for a run, take a long walk, have a refreshing swim – just make sure you’re exercising during the day, and not right before bed.
Rule out a sleep disorder
You could be following all the correct sleep practices and still have trouble sleeping. In such cases, an underlying health issue, like sleep apnea, which disrupts breathing during sleep, might be the culprit. It’s advisable to consult with your healthcare provider to explore this further.
Have any more questions? Feeling unwell? Consult with your regular GP or book an online telehealth appointment with one of our doctors.