You Snooze, You Lose – Tips to ensure a well-rested night
There are many benefits to sleep, besides waking up in a better mood. A good night’s rest can make us smarter, improve our memory and allow us to focus more during the day. We all need it to be more productive and fortunately there are many ways to improve your sleep.
These days the bedroom has become more than just a space in which we sleep. Often it is treated like an extended living room, or workplace, where we watch films, write emails and complete any tasks we might not have finished during the day. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to use the bedroom for its intended original purpose – to sleep.
To improve your sleeping patterns, enforce your own boundaries by maintaining the bedroom as a place primarily for sleep. Unless you live in a studio flat, you have a living room, or study for everything else!
Do you leave the TV on to fall asleep to? Or do you have your phone next to you in case you receive a message or alert during the night? The movement on the bright screens, as well as the sounds of incoming messages, are factors that can continuously interrupt your sleep. An easy option to avoid this disruption is to simply switch off your phones and all other electronic devices before going to bed, or even better, leave them out of the bedroom all together. The same goes for TVs -many people choose not to have a TV in their bedroom for this exact reason.
While switching off phones/TVs/tablets before you go to sleep is highly advised, you should also avoid staring at your phone or tablet for any significant period before bed too. The bright screens from electrical devices don’t allow our brains to relax and are therefore counterproductive to having a good night’s sleep. Try replacing digital time with a book or a magazine instead.
There is nothing worse than trying to fall asleep and every terrible/worrying/anxious thought from the day suddenly flooding your brain, preventing you from winding down. Obviously stress and anxiety is a common factor in many sleep conditions, but it can be overcome with some simple techniques. For example, gentle exercise before bed, such as yoga, will encourage you to focus on your breathing instead of your worries, allowing you to clear your mind.
Finally, what we eat and drink before going to bed can also help us avoid a sleepless night. Caffeine and alcohol, fatty meats and big meals in general should be avoided before bedtime. Instead, replace these foods with nuts, cherries, honey and lemon or chamomile tea. A healthy lifestyle and good nutrition is essential in improving sleep patterns.
To keep on top of your overall health, consider signing up to a Plutus Health plan which protects your health in your time of need.
Andy Wilkins is CEO of Plutus Health