Struggling To Sleep? Here's What The Experts Say.
If you're wondering if your sleep habits are no longer working for you check out my recent discussion - 5 Signs Your Sleep Habits Aren't Working For You.
As odd as it sounds, your path to high-quality sleep starts in the morning.
Ensure You Wake Up At The Right Time.
You'll feel better and more alert when you wake up from a light sleep stage. If you're feeling groggy you've probably woken up at the wrong time. Get a sleep tracker to help you figure out your routine.
Keep It Natural.
Our hormones work on a 24 hour clock with the sun. Cortisol will naturally raise with the suns steady rate which will help you to wake up naturally feeling better. Plus, the more exposure you get to the sun during the day, the better rhythm your melatonin levels (sleep hormones) will be.
Get Moving Straight Away.
Avoid hitting that snooze button as it actually increases sleep inertia. Whereas, movement actually speeds your wakening process. As soon as you wake, sit up right with your feet on the ground.
Avoid drinking any caffeine after 2pm and keep alcoholic drinks down as having more than 1-2 per night can interfere with deep sleep. (I guess expresso martini's are off the menu)
Your evening routine will also have an effect on your sleeping habits. Here's what to do to improve your sleep, before bed.
Regular exercise helps to normalise the bodies 24-hour clock, regulate your fight or flight system and optimise your hormone levels.
Be careful with high intensity exercising late in the evening. It may be harder to sleep.
Eat A Small To Medium Dinner.
Too much food may make it hard for you to sleep, but a blend of minimally processed protein, fats and carbs can help you feel satisfied until the morning. Plus, having some slow digesting carbs will help you to fall asleep.
You don't want to have to be getting up for the toilet regularly at night.
GO TO BED!
Don't sit until midnight, or until you feel yourself dozing off. Have a strict bedtime so your body knows when you release your calming hormones.
Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours!
Sleep For A Minimum Of 7 hours.
Most people need between 7-9 hours sleep per night. If you're getting less than that, don't worry just work your way up slowly. You could add 30minutes each week.
Turn Off Electronics.
Try to avoid using your phone, laptop or TV 30 minutes before bed as artificial light interferes with our release of melatonin (our sleep hormone).
It's important to be calm before bed. Try reading, meditating or even gentle movement such as yoga, walking or sex to release tension and active calm-down chemicals,
Take A Bath Or Shower.
Warm water can help us wind down, de-stress and relax. You could even try adding some Epsom salts to your bath.
Create A Relaxing Sleeping Area.
Your bedroom should be the lowest temperature, compared to the rest of your house. It should also be quite, peaceful, relatively organised, and free of clutter.
Make Your Room As Dark As Possible.
To maximise your melatonin production cover your windows and turn your phone face down to ensure no light is shining while you're sleeping.