Sleep is integral to a person’s health and not getting enough can have profound consequences. It’s recommended we get around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night in order to function properly. But during Christmas and New Year’s, as well as the period after, getting this amount of sleep doesn’t always come easy. The Sleep Council offers six tips to help sleep come easier.
1. Create a sleep routine
Going to bed at a certain time each night is considered key.
It advises: “Why not try going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time – you’ll be amazed at how your body will love you for it.”
2. Make the ideal sleeping environment
Try new ideas in the bedroom – think curtains, lighting etc – to make it the ideal sleeping environment.
It says: “Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep so if you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, consider removing gadgets (TVs, tablets, phones) from the room.”
3. Improve your lifestyle
What you do during the day can affect how well you sleep.
It recommends: “Seek out ways to improve your lifestyle. Overhaul your diet, caffeine consumption and exercise regime.
“Small changes can have a huge impact on your sleep quality and quantity.”
4. Try new ways to relax before bed
What you do before bed can have a big impact on your sleep.
It says: “Think about the hours before bed. Experiment with new ways to relax, like warm baths with calming scents, quiet soothing music, reading, gentle stretching and yoga.”
5. Keep a sleep diary
If you find dropping off hard, it may be interesting to see what you’ve been doing, it says.
It adds: “What you’ve eaten and where you’ve slept on the days you sleep well to compare with the days you don’t sleep well.
“It could help in finding the answers to some of your questions.”
6. Think about what you’re sleeping on
If it’s an old mattress, more than seven years old, perhaps it’s time to look at a new one.
It explains: “What you sleep on affects how you sleep – research has shown that a new mattress can increase the amount of sleep you get by 42 minutes.”