A regular sleep routine is best for your biological clock, so try to wake up and go to bed the same time every day – and yes, this even means weekends!
Ever feel like snoozing after finishing an epic workout? Well, that’s the sleep-inducing melatonin that’s released in your brain after you begin to cool down. Having a sweat-sesh, especially cardio, improves sleep. Avoid it within four hours of your bedtime though, as this inhibits your Zzz time because your body temperature is high.
There are certain scents which help with relaxation, like lavender and chamomile. Mix in a few drops of essential oil with water and spritz it onto your pillow.
Having a restless sleep is usually because your bedroom is too hot. A warm shower or warm bath before bed is actually really helpful, as it will temporarily raise your body temperature, but cool down once you hop out. This mimics what your brain does when it readies the body for sleep. Between 18 degrees and 30 degrees is the perfect temperature for a deep slumber.
Since most of us will spend approximately one-third of our lives asleep, your bed deserves serious investment. Buy the right mattress and ensure you get a pillow that suits how you sleep - on your side, back, firm or soft.
Heading into Winter, a good quality quilt is key. Whether you prefer white duck down for warmth without the weight or wool for its natural vapour management system, the type of quilt you choose can considerably improve your quality of sleep. Fresh sheets are also an easy indulgence, invest in an extra set so you can change them frequently.
Keep your bedroom quiet and dark. Any kind of light, like electronics that are on, can still sometimes penetrate your closed eyelids into the part of your brain that controls sleep. Maybe consider an eye mask, as the darker your room is, the deeper your sleep will be.
Smartphones and tablets use a blue light which tricks the brain into thinking you need to wake up. To really wind down, ban screen-time an hour before bed. That Candy Crush game can wait till morning.
Try to ease off the coffee or tea by the early afternoon. The stimulating effects of caffeine can take hours to wear off, which can disrupt sleep.
Get all zen and chill out before hopping into bed. Dim the lights, do a bit of reading, or write down in a journal anything that’s been on your mind.
As much as you may love cuddling up to your furry friend at night, more than half of people who sleep with their pets say the animals disturb their slumber, according to a survey from the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center. So if your pet doesn’t sleep soundly through the night, pull their little mat next to your bed – and not on it!
Sure, you might feel like you absolutely need a cat nap after a long day of work, but if it’s not done right, it could put serious pressure on a good night’s sleep. Try and eliminate naps altogether, or limit them to 25-30 minutes max.