How to get a good night's sleep

Do you struggle to fall asleep at night-time? Or do you find yourself waking up during the night? If you are finding it hard to get your full eight hours, it may be time to start making some simple changes to your lifestyle and diet.

There are many benefits to getting a good night's sleep. It improves your memory, it gives you increased energy, alertness and productivity, and reduces stress to give you an overall improved quality of life. It is recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night, so find out how with these useful tips.

Get a better night’s sleep

  • Get into a routine
    It is important to make sure you get your sleeping pattern into a regular routine. Have a set time for when you go to bed and wake up. Try and keep this consistent, no cheeky lie-ins at the weekend – this will disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and just make it even harder to get up early on Monday morning.
  • Keep your room cool
    It is recommended to keep your bedroom temperature at between 65° and 75°F. Having it too hot or too cold will disturb your sleep. A dip in temperature releases melatonin which induces sleep. That’s why it’s also a good idea to have a warm bath to temporarily increase your temperature. That means when you cool down, melatonin is released and will help you sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine after lunch time
    Caffeine is a stimulant and will last in your system for about eight hours however it can be anything up to 12. It increases the production of adrenaline, giving you a temporary increase in alertness. This may be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep so avoid it after lunchtime. That means no tea, coffee and fizzy drinks. Try swapping your usual caffeine fix for a decaf alternative.
  • Exercise at the right time
    Don’t exercise in the evening before you are going to bed. To help you sleep, do at least 30 minutes of cardio in the afternoon or early evening, around 5 hours before you want to go to bed. Your body temperature will increase and will take that amount of time to cool down. Once your body temperature decreases you will release melatonin that induces sleep. Exercise stimulates your heart, brain and muscles so if you were to exercise before you go to bed, your body wouldn’t be relaxed enough to sleep.
  • Avoid large meals
    Don’t go to bed feeling hungry or stuffed. Avoid large meals before bed time as feeling full may lead to discomfort and heartburn. Avoid spicy foods and try and have your dinner earlier. The best foods to help you sleep are low-protein, high-carb foods.
  • Don’t drink too much
    Don’t drink too much before you go to sleep as you don’t want to be waking up throughout the night to go to the toilet. If you do find yourself waking up to use the loo, try not to turn on the lights as this will make it harder for you to go back to sleep. Avoid alcohol because although it may send you to sleep sooner, you will soon be woken up and will have a less restful sleep.
  • Get a comfortable bed
    A comfortable bed is conductive to a comfortable night’s sleep. If you can feel the springs of your mattress then it might be time to get a new one. If it’s time to buy a new bed, shop with GetPaidTo at any of the following retailers and you will also earn cashback on your purchase.
  • Quit smoking
    Nicotine is a stimulant so it will make it harder for you to fall asleep. It also makes you wake up during the night with cravings so it will disturb your sleep.
  • Get out of bed
    If you wake up during the night, this can lead to clockwatching and worrying about the lack of sleep. If this is the case, get out of bed and go into a different room. Try reading a book or listening to music and then go back to bed when you’re feeling tired.
  • Sleep in a dark room
    You will sleep better if the room is dark. Use black out blinds or curtains to shut out any natural light. Light prevents the release of melatonin, light can still be detected through your eyelids even if you doze off. Even light from electrical devices such as your mobile photo or tablet can be detected.

If you have tried all of these tips with no success, it may be time to see your doctor. Or visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Insomnia/ for more information.

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