Are you a bad sleeper? Do you spend all night tossing and turning? There are countless reasons why you may not be getting the rest you need. Here are just a few ways to improve your sleep quality and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Upgrade your bed
Your bedding could be to blame for your bad night’s sleep. An uncomfortable mattress could be causing you to move more — this is all a matter of personal preference as some people prefer hard mattresses whilst others prefer them soft and spongy. Having different layers on your bed to choose from such as a thick duvet and a thin blanket can also help to deal better with varying temperatures at night, preventing you from getting too hot or too cold.
Take time to de-stress
When we’re stressed our brain remains alert. The stress hormone cortisol prevents our sleep hormone melatonin from being produced, which then prevents us from sleeping. You should try to take time out before bed to de-stress. Take a break from work or household chores to read a book, have a bath or listen to some music — these are all proven stress relievers.
Limit screen time in the evening
Bright screens can also interfere with our ability to produce melatonin. This is because our brain is tricked into thinking it’s still daylight. Bright screens could include TVs, smartphone screens or computers. Give yourself an hour of no bright screens before bed and you could find it easier to sleep.
Brighten up your day
Similarly, too much darkness during the day can be bad for our ability to sleep. Our body clock can get confused by a day of total darkness and our brain may still be waiting for the sun by the time night comes making it harder to sleep. Make sure that you work in a well-lit environment during the day so that your body clock is in tune.
Drink less alcohol
Alcohol can knock you unconscious, but this doesn’t mean you’re getting good sleep quality. When you drink a heavy amount, your brain never actually enters deep sleep. If you rely on alcohol to get to sleep you may need to look into alcohol help. Getting to sleep could be harder at first, but once you finally do nod off you’re more likely to enter a deeper sleep.
Cut down on caffeine
Unsurprisingly, too much caffeine isn’t good for your ability to sleep. Caffeine keeps you awake and disturbs the body clock. You’re best off only drinking caffeinated drinks in the morning — having a coffee less than six hours before bed time could reduce your night’s sleep by as much one hour.
Eat the right foods before bed
Certain foods help promote sleep, whilst others may keep you up. Bananas, honey and turkey have all been found to improve sleep quality due to containing chemicals that stimulate melatonin. You’re best off avoiding high carbohydrate foods like bread and chips as these keep the body energised and are difficult to digest when asleep. Cheese is also best avoided due to containing chemicals that keep us more alert.