If you often find that you can't get through the night without interrupted sleep, or struggle to fall asleep in the first place, then these 10 tips may help you to get a better night's sleep...
1. Digital detox
Most of us are guilty of heading off to bed at 10pm and then spending the next half hour laying in bed scrolling through our phones before finally calling it a night. Doing this won't actually help you get to sleep, in fact, it'll do the complete opposite! Being exposed to the blue and white light that is given off from phones and tablets during night will actually prevent your brain from releasing melatonin. Therefore it'll take you longer to fall asleep. So when you go to bed, place your phone out of reach and try to get some shut eye.
2. Pillow sprays
Sometimes all you need is a calming scent to help you drift of to sleep. Many people recommend lavender sprays – which are infused with essential oils to help soothe the body and mind.
A good alternative for those who are tempted to reach for their phones! Pick up a book instead, and read a few pages with the help of a table lamp which isn't too bright. You'll probably find that your eyes start to get heavy after a short while, which is when it's time to clock off and get some beauty sleep.
4. Relaxing bath
During the night your body temperature naturally drops. If you run a hot bath and soak in the tub for 20-30 minutes, your temperature will rise by a degree or two, meaning there'll be a steeper drop at bedtime, immediately relaxing you and therefore making it more likely to fall into a deep sleep. Give it a go!
If you aren't a keen reader, then have you thought about an audiobook? Try downloading a good series like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, tuck yourself into bed and listen to the story for 20-30 minutes. Many people have found this to be a great way of getting to sleep – so it may work for you too!
6. Don't go to bed hungry
It's important that you don't go to bed hungry, as hunger pains have been shown to keep the brain mentally alert. If hunger strikes during the night – it'll be more difficult to get a good night's rest. Try to avoid raiding the fridge though, and instead pick a light snack. Make sure you eat properly in the day too.
7. Avoid napping
Unless it's absolutely necessary, avoid napping during the day, especially later into the afternoon and early evenings. Generally people feel refreshed after a nap that has lasted for around 20 minutes. Longer naps could leave you feeling groggy as you'll wake from a deeper sleep, but try not to nap later in the day as this can affect your ability to fall asleep at night.
8. Make sure the room is dark
Light levels are key in telling your body when it's time to rest. Light in the bedroom – even light that is peeking in through the curtains, can have an impact on your sleep. So make sure all lights are out and the curtains are drawn when you go to bed.
9. Don't drink caffeine too late in the day
If you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, try to limit this to one or two cups in the morning. If you consume these in the afternoon and evening, you may find you struggle to fall asleep or wake up more during the night because of the caffeine in your system. Opt for a decaf if you can't resist a hot drink.
10. Keep your room cool
There's nothing worse than feeling too hot when you're trying to sleep – and the temperature really can affect your ability to get a good night's sleep. As mentioned in point 4, your body temperature needs to drop in order to fall into a deep sleep. By keeping your room cool, your body will produce more melatonin – therefore helping you to fall into a deeper sleep.