Good sleep is often said to be the most important element in supporting health and wellbeing – both physical and emotional. Good sleep is defined as being 7-8 hours of continuous, restorative sleep every night, seven days a week.
Achieving this can be a challenge for some of us, as we can either struggle to fall asleep or might wake on a number of occasions throughout the night and struggle to fall back to sleep.
We have pulled together our top 12 tips to help you to sleep better and start to improve your overall wellness.
Tips to sleep better at night
1. Get into a routine – go to bed and get up at the same time each day. It is tempting to have a lie-in at the weekend, but if you do, make sure you go to bed and get up no more than an hour later than usual to avoid putting your body into a different routine altogether.
2. Take time to relax before bedtime – take a warm bath or shower, read a book or listen to soothing music or a meditation recording and perhaps try a cup of camomile tea.
3. Avoid technology (including TV) and blue light for at least an hour before bedtime– we hear it all the time, but it really can help. And if you must use technology in the hour before bed, wear blue-light-reducing glasses.
4. Get outside as much as possible during the day to expose yourself to natural light – this helps to regulate our internal clock (known as our circadian rhythm) and can help with vitamin D production in the spring and summer months when the sun is out.
5. Create a calm, restful sleep environment – keep your bedroom quiet and at a cool temperature between 16° and 18°C, reduce bedroom clutter, install blackout blinds and/or curtains, paint the room in restful colours and use lavender oil on your pillow as it has been shown to aid relaxation.
6. Eat foods containing tryptophan in the evening – this is an amino acid that converts to serotonin and then melatonin, the sleep chemical, in our body. Tryptophan can be found in turkey, chicken, milk (hence warm milk before bedtime), eggs, cheese, salmon, bananas and pumpkin seeds.
7. Avoid spicy food, alcohol and caffeine in the evenings and don’t eat a large meal within three hours of going to bed. Sugar can also raise blood sugar and act as a stimulant making it difficult to get to sleep. In fact, maintaining balanced blood sugar levels throughout the day can help to promote continuous sleep through the night.
8. Avoid drinking any fluids late into the evening as this can lead to interrupted sleep if we need to get up for the toilet. Have your camomile tea at least an hour before you plan to go to bed.
9. Exercise regularly (daily if possible) – physical activity during the day helps to support sleep during the night. It can also help to reduce stress levels, thus improving our ability to fall asleep.
10. Make sure your bed is comfortable and you have the perfect pillow for your size, shape and sleeping position. How old is your mattress? Is it time for a new one? And when did you last treat yourself to a new pillow or pillowcase?
11. If you can’t sleep, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Read a book, meditate or listen to some calming music – do not switch on the TV, phone or laptop as the blue light may further impact your sleep.
12. If you still can’t sleep, talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have a specific sleep disorder, such as sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome or sleepwalking.
Wishing you a good night’s sleep tonight and every night…
Want to know more?
Pro-Ven Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health and staying healthy please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth proven research.
ProVen Probiotics, Unit 2 Christchurch Road, Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ. Tel: 01639 825107