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How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Do you struggle with insomnia? A bad night’s sleep can really affect how we feel and perform the next day. If I don’t sleep well, I feel tired, foggy-headed, and irritable and I crave carbs.

But the effect of long-term sleep deprivation can be far more serious, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's disease.

So here are some great tips to help you sleep better and feel on top of your game.

1. Take time to relax

Stress is a major factor in sleep problems so it’s vital you take the time to relax before you go to bed. Try having a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music or a guided meditation. For some people, writing a to-do list before bed can help free your mind from worrying about all the things you need to do tomorrow.

2. Get into a routine

Having a routine not only helps babies and children fall asleep, it works for adults too. Try to stick to going to bed and waking up at the same time. Create a bedtime habit, then once you start your routine, your brain knows it’s time to get sleepy.

3. Avoid technology

Your phone, lap top and TV emit a blue light that stimulates the brain and supresses the sleep hormone. Try to switch off from technology at least an hour before bed.

4. Create a restful environment

You’ll sleep better in a comfy, supportive bed. Keeping your bedroom cool and dark will also promote good sleep. And you could try soothing lavender or geranium scents. Dimming the lights an hour before bedtime sends your brain the message that it is time to prepare for sleep.

5. Eat sleep-inducing foods

Some foods, such as turkey, lettuce and milk, contain chemicals that make us feel sleepy, while caffeine and alcohol can keep you awake.

6. Stop watching the clock

Worrying about getting enough sleep can itself stop us sleeping. Avoid repeatedly checking your clock: try turning it around or putting it on the other side of the room so it’s not as easy to watch time ticking away.

7. Get really cold

The process of warming up from being cold can make you feel relaxed and sleepy. If you wake up in the night and struggle to get back to sleep, get out of bed and allow yourself to completely cool down before going back to bed.

If you have a bath before bed, make sure you have enough time to cool down afterwards before trying to sleep.

8. Think backwards

Count backwards in your head in threes or sevens. Or work backwards through the alphabet, choosing a name starting with each letter (or a city or country). It distracts you from thinking and slows your brain waves down.

9. Breathing

Try mindfully focussing on your breathing. Breath in through your nose for a count of five, then breath out slowly for a count of seven. The slower out breath triggers feelings of relaxation.

10. Self hypnosis

Listening to a guided audio is a great way to help you drift off to sleep. We have a lovely one you can try - vist our website to find out more

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