How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Sleep is important – especially the quality of it.

If you’re restless at night, your body won’t get the chance to repair itself and you’ll feel tired the following day, running the risk of it turning into a vicious circle of poorer quality sleep.

Here are some things you can do to help get a better night’s sleep

1. Reduce caffeine intake in the second half of the day

Cup of coffeeYes, coffee is nice.

But it’s also a stimulant.

Unless you want some nasty headaches, gradually wean yourself off coffee and other caffeinated drinks.

Start with the ones you’ve been having later in the day and work backwards – the earlier coffees will mostly worked their way out of your system rather than disrupt your sleeping patterns.

Decaff tastes OK nowadays but keep in mind that the chemical processes used aren’t necessarily particularly pleasant.

Tea drinkers can move on to things like Redbush or herbal teas – both a bit of an acquired taste but certainly worth considering.

2. Keep a regular bed time

This is why shift workers often find it difficut to get to sleep as their body clock is disrupted.

It’s also why jet lag can be nasty.

Do your best to go to sleep at roughly the same time each night – half an hour’s variance is OK, several hours is unlikely to be good news.

And while you’re at it, do your best to keep your bedroom temperature reasonably consistent throughout the year so your body isn’t having to constantly guess how hot or cold it will be tonight.

3. Go dark

The darker your bedroom, the better.

That doesn’t just mean light coming through the curtains or blinds.

You’re old enough to know that there are no monsters lurking under the bed so you don’t need a light to keep you safe while you sleep.

But you probably have other “lights” that are in your bedroom – the television standby light, your alarm clock, maybe other indicator lights.

All of those are polluting the darkness in your bedroom – cover them up or even switch off the appliance if that’s easy enough to do (not all modern appliances make it easy to do that so you may need to investigate a bit).

4. Unwind a bit

Your body doesn’t have a switch that says “sleep now”.

It needs time to get into sleep mode.

So don’t expect to be playing games or watching TV or any other intense activity until minutes before you go to bed and expect your body to be able to instantly adjust – it doesn’t happen (even if you’ve been yawning whilst fending off a zombie attack).

Take the time to relax – personally, my routine is that I listen to a meditation track to help me relax.  Other people I know use a hypnosis track to get them into sleep mode.

Experiment to figure out what works best for you but take the time to unwind

5. Cut down on the booze

You may fall asleep after you’ve had a bit too much to drink but you won’t get as restful a night’s sleep.

If wine drinking is your thing, drink less of it (you can get help with that here).

If it’s some other type of alcohol then get help here instead.

It doesn’t mean denying yourself the pleasure of alcohol – in limited quantities it seems to help with health – but it does mean cutting down on it so that you’re back in control.

And you’ll get a better night’s sleep into the bargain.