Getting a good night’s rest has many benefits, including:
- Staying at a healthy weight
- Lowering your risk of diseases like diabetes
- Reducing stress
- Improving your mood
- Getting sick less often
- Removing ‘brain fog’ and clearing your mind
- Keeping your thinking sharp and your decision making honed
How much sleep is enough sleep?
Most adults need around eight hours of sleep, but some people can require more or less. It’s about getting to know your optimum amount of sleep – where you feel rested on waking.
A good routine can be helpful in getting a solid night’s rest. Good sleep habits signal to your brain and body that’s it’s time to rest and rejuvenate. We’ve collected some ideas you could try adding into your routine:
A sleep schedule
For some of us, a strict sleep schedule is the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time, even on the weekends or when you’re not working. A schedule helps to regulate your internal body clock.
A bedtime ritual
A soothing and relaxing pre-bed ritual helps your mind and body to understand that the activity of the day is over and it is time to rest. You might want to dim the lights, take a warm bath or shower, read a few chapters of a book and diffuse calming essential oils like lavender and vetiver. Avoid exciting, stressful and stimulating activities before bed.
If you’re a troubled sleeper, napping in the afternoon or early evening might feel good, but it’s actually going to make it harder for you to fall asleep later.
Get your body moving
A daily workout or movement practice is an excellent way to set yourself up for sleep-success. If you find yourself full of energy when bedtime rolls around, you might want to try upping the ante in your daily workout and making it more vigorous. Note: Avoid exercising right before bed as this is too stimulating and might have the opposite effect.
Create a sleep haven
Take a look at your room and decide if some sleep-driven improvements are needed. A perfect sleep haven will be cool (but not cold!), free from noise and nice and dark. You could even try earplugs and sleep mask to aid you.
The other important part of your sleep haven is your mattress, bedding and pillows! Invest in high-quality products that are comfortable, breathable and inviting.
What to do if you can’t fall asleep
If you’re a troubled sleeper, you know that sleep can’t be forced! If it’s taking you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, you should get out of bed. Don’t switch on the TV or look at your phone. Avoid eating or drinking. Take yourself to another darkened room and sit comfortably. Practising meditation may help. When you start to feel sleepy, go back to bed. This will help your mind link bed with sleeping, not lying awake getting annoyed that you can’t sleep!