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Get a better night’s sleep

Watching the minutes count down on your bedside clock in the early hours of the morning? There are things you can do to sleep better at night. Check out these ways you can improve your nightly beauty rest:

Get a pillow that suits you
Sometimes, the reason for your lack of sleep may be as simple as using a pillow that doesn’t agree with you. There are puffy ones, foam, down, feather, ergonomic… Find one that provides good support and is comfortable so you can get the best out of your rest.

Time for a warm shower or bath!
A great way to unwind and relax just before sleep, take a warm bath or shower to de-stress and get into sleep mode.

Ditch the caffeine
This may seem a bit obvious, but try to skip the caffeinated drinks (coffee, cola drinks etc.) in the second half of your day. While it may be great to help you get that last-minute assignment done in the wee small hours of the morning, caffeine is not so brilliant for getting good sleep and can still be in your body 12 hours after drinking it!

Have a warm drink
After the last point of advice – this doesn’t mean coffee! Have some hot chocolate or a tea (regular tea does have a small amount of caffeine in it, but some herbal teas are nice – chamomile should have a soothing effect). Warm drinks can make you feel comfy and sleepy – same as the warm bath/shower – so have one just before you brush your teeth and go to bed.

Get in some good exercise
Perhaps not right before bed (can get your adrenaline going and you may find it more difficult to get to sleep!), but try just before dinner time. You may feel drained after work or uni, but if you do a bit of exercise at that time you’ll likely get a better night’s sleep for it!

Have a light dinner
No stodgy, filling dinners if you want to beat off the insomnia! Keep your last meal of the day light and you should have less trouble nodding off to sleep at night.

Clear your mind
There’s nothing worse than going to bed with thoughts of your latest assignment or today’s work projects swimming around in your head. Try some mind-clearing meditation just before you go to bed so your brain can ‘turn off’, otherwise you may find yourself awake and still pondering your last thoughts at 2am. This also includes turning off the computer, cellphone and staying away from the television as they can all engage your brain.

Stick to a schedule
Routine may help you get some better rest. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Your body clock will love you for it and after a while it’s likely to adjust to your sleeping pattern so it will ‘expect’ when to be awake/asleep.

Find yourself a good book
Reading is a great way to get yourself relaxed before you take a nap. Not only will it stimulate your brain, but it will probably make you a wee bit tired after a chapter or two. Bedtime stories work for kids – so why should they stop working for us?

Stop with the excitement already!
Best to stay away from the thriller and action films just before bedtime. They’ll get you all excited and jumpy which could make it harder to wind down before you go to sleep.

Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Stuart Miles

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