Getting a good night’s sleep is more than just feeling tired. Your surroundings play a big part in how you feel mentally and physically when you go to bed at night. Here are some suggestions if you’re finding it hard to either get to sleep or stay asleep:
Your bedroom space should not be used for anything other than sleeping. It isn’t a gym, play space or home office. All these things are distractions, especially electronics. It might be hard but ideally, you should also be getting rid of the TV.
When your bedroom is associated with other activities, your brain starts to associate it with these activities and finds it harder to switch off. If you have a home office in your room, just seeing it can be enough to set off any work thoughts or anxiety, making going to sleep much harder.
Electronics also emit blue light which trick the body into waking up more. When there’s too much light, the body produces less melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. This applies to TVs, laptops, computers, mobile phones, games consoles and tablets.
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- Keep it dark
Artificial light encourages the brain to stay active, as does blue light from electronics. Ideally, you should turn off all lamps and night-lights and hang some blackout blinds or curtains to prevent natural light waking you too early.
- Block out unwanted noise
Anyone can be disturbed from their sleep, not just light sleepers. Sound can come from outside, another room, inside the bedroom and from next door. If you find your sleep is disturbed by noise you can’t control, consider investing in a sound machine or installing a fan in your bedroom. These machines produce soothing sounds that can help you drift off and block out those annoying unwanted sounds that are waking you up.
- Stay cool
Overheating in bed could be one of the reasons for disturbed sleep. As you fall asleep, your body begins to cool, preparing it for sleep. Keeping your room cool can aid this process.
- Check the bed
If you don’t sleep comfortably or wake feeling stiff, it could be the mattress or pillows that are to blame. Mattresses are built to last for around 10 years but any mattress with lumps, broken springs, rips or sagging should be replaced as soon as possible. New beds and mattresses are expensive but when you consider that you spend one third of your life in bed, it’s an investment well worth making.