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Five top tips for getting a great night’s sleep
Despite the fact that a good night’s sleep is crucial to our physical and mental wellbeing, many of us struggle to switch off once we get into bed. While experts recommend that we get eight hours of sleep every night, a report published by The Sleep Council (https://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/The-Great-British-Bedtime-Report.pdf) has revealed that the majority of us fail to achieve this.
The research found that 70% of Brits don’t get more than seven hours of sleep per night and 27% experience poor quality sleep on a regular basis. More than a third of us are getting by on just five to six hours so what can we do to improve the quality of our sleep?
Only use your bedroom as a bedroom
Creating the right environment for sleep is important. If you’re guilty of using the bedroom as a gym, an office or you regularly watch TV in there, this could be why you’re struggling to drift off at night.
Studies also show that a tidy bedroom can help us to sleep better. The National Sleep Foundation found that people who make their bed are 19% more likely to sleep better than people who don’t. Clearing away clutter, putting dirty washing away and regularly dusting and hoovering can make your bedroom a much nicer and more relaxing place to be. For further information on improving your sleep visit their site: https://sleepfoundation.org/
Get the temperature right
The temperature of our bedroom can have a huge impact on our sleep quality. After all, we’re all familiar with the struggle of trying to get comfortable on a hot summer’s night. Studies suggest that the optimum temperature for the bedroom is between and 18 and 24°C. If you don’t live on a busy street, try sleeping with the window open to get some fresh air in. If you have to have the window closed at night, try to remember to open the window a couple hours beforehand so when you do go to sleep the room is a bit cooler.
Make sure it’s dark enough
Sleeping in complete darkness is crucial because it helps us to produce the all-important antioxidant hormone, melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for regulating our sleep cycles and plays an instrumental part in regulating our body’s internal clock. When this is out of sync, we struggle to fall asleep at the right time because our body doesn’t know what time it is.
Even a small amount of light filtering through curtains can interrupt melatonin production so do everything you can to ensure your room is dark enough. A great way to find this out is to put your hand in front of your face when you turn the lights off, you shouldn’t be able to see anything.
If your room is too light, think about changing your window dressings. Window shutters are fantastic at keeping out any light infiltration and can be far more effective than curtains or blinds.
Reduce your caffeine intake
It sounds obvious and while most of us wouldn’t have a cup of coffee before bed, did you know that it can take up to six hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off? If you really struggle to nod off at night, it might be worth giving that afternoon caffeine hit a miss.
If you’re a smoker, your final cigarette of the day could be causing your sleep deprivation. Just like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant and studies show that smokers not only find it more difficult to get to sleep, they’re also more likely to wake up during the night.