Nothing beats a good night of sleep; it helps to leave you invigorated and ready to face the day so that you can have the energy to improve. However, despite your best efforts, you sometimes are left tossing and turning well into the early hours of the morning, and it feels like you’ve only just dropped off when your alarm is ringing. A few nights like this and you start to forget what it’s like to be well-rested. Well, worry not, because below are a few tips to help you ensure that you are well-rested and relaxed every single morning.
It is often said that every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours after midnight. If that is indeed the case, then it could be highly beneficial to start being stricter with your own bedtime. Aim to start winding down from about 9 o’clock; that means turning off the TV and putting your phone down. The glare from the screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm and stop your body from producing melatonin (a chemical in your body that controls when you feel tired) at the correct time. Try reading a book for an hour to help you unwind and relax, keep the lighting dim, but so dim that you strain your eyes.
How many nights in the summer did you lay awake, unable to sleep because it was too hot? Your body needs to be at a comfortable temperature in order to get to sleep. Ideally, the room should be between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. Think of your bedroom as a cool, dark cave for you to retreat into at the end of a long day. If it is warm and sunny where you live, try to close the curtains or shutters to keep the heat of the sun out. You may want to open a window to let some air in of a morning, but if it is particularly hot, you’ll simply be letting all the hot air into the room. Rely on the insulation of your windows to keep the temperature consistent in your room.
Particularly if you live by a main road or in a busy area, sounds from the outside world can interrupt your sleeping pattern, especially if you are a light sleeper. Ensure that your windows are fully sealed, and consider replacing with modern double or even triple glazing to help keep the outside world from invading your home. If you have noisy neighbours and particularly thin walls, it might be worth investing in some noise cancelling headphones, or perhaps putting on some soothing music to help you drift off. There are even some eight-hour mixes available on YouTube that use the power of Binaural Beats to help you to drift off.
Your bed is at the bottom of this list, but it could be the main culprit to your poor sleeping pattern. Your mattress should be replaced at least every eight years, but if you have bought a more budget mattress, it could well need replacing after less than five. There are two basic styles of mattress to choose from: Pocket sprung and memory foam. Pocket sprung is the more traditional style, and you can read more about them in this pocket spring mattress guide. There has been a huge surge in the market for memory foam mattresses, especially with many of the companies now offering a ‘bed in a box’ service delivered to your door. You also need to bear in mind whether you have the right firmness for you. Not enough support, or too much, can mean that it is very difficult to get comfortable enough to nod off. If you are a particularly light person, you may need a softer mattress, as your body won’t cause the mattress to bend and flex in the correct places to support you. Likewise, if you are particularly tall or heavy, then you will need a firmer mattress that doesn’t just cave in when you lie on it. Some mattresses even offer differing firmness level for each side of the mattress; perfect for couples with different needs. It can be tempting to save some money when buying a mattress, but seeing as you spend a third of your day using your bed, it makes sense to invest in something quality.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you to figure out what might be causing your restless nights. It is important that you do all you can to ensure that you sleep soundly, as poor sleeping patterns can cause a whole host of physical and mental health issues that you could really do without.