Getting enough sleep is important for both your physical and your mental health – as we showed in our article on 5 reasons to get a good night’s rest. But, making sure you get a full night’s rest is not as always as easy as it sounds. Whether you struggle to get to sleep or find yourself waking up, there are a few things that you can try to help you get some proper sleep.
Of course, there are doctors who can prescribe sleeping pills – but these can be highly addictive and over time their effectiveness wears out as your body builds up a tolerance. Rather than reach for a chemical solution, you might want to try out one of these more natural tips to get you some sleep, but before we get into those there are a few useful pointers to think on first…
- No Alcohol
Some people feel that drinking alcohol helps them get to sleep, but in fact drinking alcohol tends to lead to disturbed sleep. So avoid drinking booze if you want to get some proper sleep.
- Turn Off Your Devices
The light emitted by your phone, tablet, laptop, or TV can confuse your body into thinking it is still daytime. Avoid using them in the bedroom before you go to sleep. Some experts say that you should stop checking your social media, etc around an hour before you go to bed.
Now that you have heard a few ‘don’ts,’ here are some things to try in order to improve your sleep:
- Eat Some Fibre
It may sound strange but the bacteria in your gut has a direct impact on how well you sleep at night. Eat some fibre with your evening meal or, for a bigger boost to your insides, try taking some pre-biotics an hour before you go to bed. There are as many bacteria in your gut as there are cells in the rest of your body, so a settled stomach equals a settled you.
- Kiwi Fruit
Other experts say that eating two kiwi fruit before an hour before you go to bed can help you get a better night’s sleep. We’re not exactly sure why this is, but it’s got to be better than taking sleeping pills – why not give it a try?
- Take A Warm Bath
Relaxing your muscles in a warm bath can help you feel sleepy, but the real trick is in going from the warm bath to a cool bedroom (around 17 degrees is recommended). This cools your body down and gets you ready for a restful night’s sleep.
- Mindfulness & Meditation
While the other solutions focus on the physical side of things, you might want to try practising mindfulness or meditation to help you switch off. Focusing on your breathing as you lie in bed can help you push away the stresses of the day – letting you drift off to sleep.
- Bonus: Sorting Your Body Clock
Throughout history, people would tend to sleep when it got dark and wake up with the dawn. However, with our modern lifestyles it is easy for your body clock to get out of synch with these natural rhythms. This can be seen in a extreme form with jet-lag. Dealing with this and realigning your sleep patterns can take time, but you can get a quick fix by letting yourself wake up naturally with the daylight. Open your curtains or blinds when you go to sleep and let the dawn wake you up naturally. Experts also recommend that you step outside first thing in the morning and get a decent dose of daylight to get your body-clock back on time.