By Maryanne Taylor, Founder and Sleep Consultant, The Sleep Works
Stress and anxiety can be a huge factor in our sleep and raised adrenalin levels can inhibit the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin which is essential for restful sleep.
- Use a simple breathing exercise which slows down breathing and focuses the mind on the inhalation and exhalation of each breath.
- Ensure you have a relaxing lead up to bedtime – switch off all screens for an hour before bed, have a bath (the NEW Bloom and Blossom Sleep Night-Time range is perfect), write a to do list for next day, keep lights dim, listen to music or read a book.
What we put into our bodies during the day impacts significantly on how we sleep.
- Avoid caffeine after 1pm – including coffee, tea, fizzy drinks. Certain over the counter medication contains caffeine so check the label.
- Eat a light, low carbohydrate dinner in the evening and not too close to bedtime. Heavy, spicy meals eaten too late can upset the digestive system at night.
- Keep hydrated during the day but reduce liquid intake in the evening.
Exposure to artificial light emitted from screens ‘fools’ the brain into staying awake.
- Avoid all screens up to an hour before bedtime – this includes TV, computers, phones and electronic devices.
- Do not sleep with a phone next to your bed as this emits electro magnetic fields which can inhibit production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, at night.
Circadian Rhythm is our body clock that controls daily process, including sleep timing and is affected by light – dark cycles.
- Set a sleep schedule by going to bed in the evening at around the same time and getting up in the morning at a similar time in order to steady your body clock.
- If you are pre-occupied with timings, ie how long it is taking you to fall asleep at bedtime, or when you wake in the night, turn the clock away from you so you cannot see the time.
Letting go of trying
One of the biggest factors to poor sleep is trying too hard. Lying in bed willing yourself to go to sleep is often the main issue in not actually getting to sleep!
- Stop trying too hard to sleep. Be aware of the fact that you function the next day even after a ‘bad night’ sleep so try to reduce your anxiety levels around not managing to get to sleep once in a while.
Maryanne Taylor Xxx
P.S. If you're looking for more sleep advice, head over to The Sleep Works official website here: thesleepworks.co.uk