Around 80 per cent of the population will struggle to sleep at some time in their life. Here, Dr Guy Meadows, co-founder of The Sleep School, shares his top tips for getting some shut-eye.
1. Humans sleep best in cold weather so if you’ve had the heating on for too long, lower your body temperature by opening a window or using a fan. Alternatively, add layers to your bed instead of putting the heating on.
2. An insomniac will tell you they do everything to get to sleep. That’s because they obsess about having a bedtime ritual and end up thinking about it too much. You do need a wind-down period before bed but make sure it isn’t regimented. Dim the lights 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep and switch off the TV and computer games.
3. Getting up in the middle of the night may offer a short-term solution, but ultimately it pushes you away from the place you want to be – your bed. Learn how to sit with your discomfort rather than fight it.
4. Caffeine is a stimulant so reduce your caffeine intake by switching to decaf.
5. Going to bed and waking up at the same time forces your body into a good rhythm. It will soon recognise when it’s time to go to bed and ease into sleep mode before you even hit the hay.
6. On average, people sleep for seven to eight hours a night but we can survive on as few as four. Going to bed an hour later and waking up an hour earlier will consolidate your sleep, which will make you more tired and hopefully allow you to sleep better the following night.
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