If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, making some small lifestyle changes could help you sleep easier. Sleeping well can have a hugely positive affect on your life, helping you feel good by boosting your energy levels, improving your mood and making you more resistant to illness and other health issues.
Small changes to sleep better:
Although some people have a drink before bed to help them fall asleep quicker, this often causes more problems than it solves. Even if you do manage to nod off quickly, regular drinking worsens the quality of your sleep, making you feel tired and sluggish.
Drinking alcohol affects your sleep by causing you to spend more time in the less restful Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. You might also find that after drinking you’re more likely to wake up in the night and struggle to get back to sleep. This means that no matter how long you spend in bed, you will often wake up feeling tired and less rested.
Luckily you can avoid all this and start sleeping better by drinking less alcohol.
If you spend hours lying awake at night, being more active could really help improve your sleep. The more active you are during the day, the more excess energy you will burn off, which should make it easier for you to get to sleep quicker.
You’re probably aware that stopping smoking is great for your health, but what you might not know is that that it can do wonders for your sleep too. Smokers tend to find that they take longer to fall asleep, wake up more frequently and regularly experience a disturbed night’s sleep. This is because nicotine is a stimulant.
How and what you eat can have a huge impact on how you sleep. Too much food, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleeping patterns. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s a good idea to cut down on drinks like tea and coffee (as they contain caffeine) especially in the evening. If you can start to reduce the amount of caffeine in your system before bedtime, you should start to see an improvement in your sleep. This is because caffeine interferes with your body’s process of falling asleep and can also prevent you falling into a deep sleep, which can leave you feeling less rested, regardless of the amount of time you spend in bed.
It’s not just tea and coffee that contain caffeine though… fizzy drinks, energy drinks and even chocolate can be full of caffeine too. So try and stick to warm, milky drinks or herbal tea before bed.
Other ways to help you sleep
Need more advice on how to get a better night’s sleep? Visit our sleep section.