Sleep is something that comes so naturally to a certain, lucky percentage of the people. As soon as their head hits the pillow it’s goodnight Vienna.
However, for an alarmingly large bunch of us, a healthy night’s sleep is more slippery than an eel in a tub of Vaseline, resulting in fatigue, lack of concentration and weariness the next day.
If that’s you, try some of these to get a good night’s Zs.
1) Lay off the stimulants
Yes, we all know that for some a good cup of coffee is essential to the morning wake-up call but, other than this, it is best to avoid stimulants later in the day. These stimulants include anything that contains caffeine or tobacco – so if you struggle to get to sleep, lay off the coffee, tea, chocolate or cigarettes a few hours before climbing the wooden hill!
2) Get into a routine
Your body loves predictability. It loves routine. Make it a habit to engage in a relaxing activity (such as reading or meditating) about an hour before going to bed and stick to it every day. Like a baby, the routine is a trigger, telling your body it’s time for bed and sets your body up for a good night’s snooze.
3) Set the stage
How do you feel when you enter your bedroom? Stressed out or relaxed? What is your bedroom’s temperature, volume and lighting like at night? All these factors play a role in determining how well you will sleep. Always make sure that your bedroom is well-ventilated, dark and comfortable and does not have any distractions. Oh, and that 50” plasma hanging on the wall? You might want to consider moving that too. Sorry…
4) Have a regular sleep schedule.
Our bodies have an internal sleep clock, so trying to catch up on “missed” sleep is never a good idea. Like I said, your body loves routine and is often much cleverer than we give it credit for. It is therefore best, even on weekends, to try and stick as closely as possible to your usual routine to avoid having to count sheep.
5) Don’t be a clock watcher
“I have to get up in 5 hours”
“I have to get up in 4 hours and 37 minutes”
“I have to get up in 4 hours and 12 minutes”
In bed and can’t sleep? Don’t let this worry you and, whatever you do, don’t panic about how few hours you have left to sleep.
“I have to get up in 3 hours 51 minutes”
Stop it! Clock watching just creates anxiety, and anxiety is a one way ticket to awakesville. If you want to drop off, you need to be relaxed, or at least a close facsimile!
Establish a routine, create the right environment, and leave your worries outside the bedroom if you want to sleep like a baby on Calpol.