Tips to Improve Your Sleep

By Alana Compton

Tip 1: Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine and other Chemicals that interfere with Sleep - As any coffee lover knows, caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. So avoid caffeine found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola and certain pain killers for 4-6 hours before bedtime. Although alcohol may bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, increasing the number of awakenings and decreasing the quality of your sleep.

Tip 2: Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment  - A quiet, dark and cool environment can help promote better sleep. To achieve such an environment, lower the volume of outside noise by using a ‘white noise’ appliance. Use blackout shades or eye mask to block light and keep the room well ventilated. It may help to limit your bedroom activities to sleep and sex only keeping computers, tablets and tv’s out of the room in order to strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

Tip 3: Establish a soothing pre-sleep routine - Ease the transition from wake to sleep time with a period of relaxing activities an hour or so before bed. Take a bath, read a book, watch tv or practice relaxation activities. If you take your problems to bed, try writing them down – and then putting them aside.

Tip 4: Go to sleep when you’re truly tired - Struggling to fall asleep just leads to frustration. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room and do something relaxing until your tired enough to sleep.

Tip 5: Don’t be a night time clock watcher  - Staring at a clock in your bedroom, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night, can actually increase stress, making it harder to fall asleep, turn your clocks face away from you.

Tip 6: Keep your internal clock set with a consistent sleep schedule  - Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick to it as closely as possible.

 

Alana is a registered nutritionist with the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), an accredited therapist with The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and a master Certified Weight Loss Coach.

Contact her at www.nutrition4you.org.uk / email: alanacompton@nutrition4you.org.uk