Why is it so darned hard to get good quality sleep these days?
It’s easy to feel alone with this problem when you’re lying awake in the middle of the night watching the time tick by, and then more alone still as you toss and turn your way into the early hours with nothing for company but the minimal soundscape of tweeting birds and the milk float a-calling.
It’s actually a very common issue though and in fact there are tried and tested ways to nip all this nonsense in the bud….
Develop a routine
Develop a routine and then jolly well stick it! There’s a reason that we set children a bedtime and we should do it for ourselves as adults too. The body, and mind for that matter, like a routine. Make sure you’re in bed for a certain time every night and soon the system will adjust and come to expect it.
Invest in a supportive bed
Bed and mattress shopping can be a pretty boring affair but it’s imperative that the body has proper support throughout the night. If you stop and think about it we’re talking about eight hours lying on a single surface here. It only makes sense that if the mattress sags then your back and neck are going to let you know about it.
You don’t have to be quite as sensitive as the princess discomforted by the pea but you should listen to what your body is telling you and help yourself as much as you can. Online suppliers such as Bedstar make it easy to sort yourself out pronto with beds on finance.
Make sure you’re avoiding the wrong kind of light last thing at night because it can throw off your whole system. We know now that all animals, including human beings, are instinctively tuned into the movements of the land and the planet- circadian rhythm.
What this means in practice is that if you spend a long time looking at the sort of light emitted by phones, tablets and laptops before bed then you’re in effect disrupting the navigation equipment of the body. Go old-school and switch to reading a book before bed instead and the difference should show through in a matter of nights.
Watch your consumption
It goes without saying that if you’re having trouble sleeping you shouldn’t be drinking caffeine in the evening. Lunchtime is a good cut-off point for coffee, tea, cola, Red Bull etc. A less obvious aspect of diet to watch is your eating patterns.
Try to avoid eating late at night. All you’re doing if you do is fuelling up with energy at exactly the time that you should be winding down! Even apparently harmless and healthy items such as fruit after a meal aren’t really a good idea beyond a certain time. An orange or banana eaten at 9.30 at night is an injection of energy. Consider that old tradition of footballers feasting on orange quarters at half time to keep them energised; hardly the optimum choice for before bed!