health

7 ways to help you get a better sleep.

Flordis
Thanks to our brand partner, Flordis

It’s late. You really should go to bed. Just one more episode of House of Cards

You go to bed and set the alarm on your phone. Just one quick scroll through Facebook…

You’re bone tired, you snuggle under the covers and it feels like heaven. Oh wait, did you remember to respond to that work email?

For some, a good night’s sleep is a luxury. I remember when I was in my early twenties, during uni before I started working fulltime, and some days I’d sleep in until 11am (or 2pm), just because. Then I got a job in radio and for the next ten years I got up at 3.30am. Now I keep ‘normal hours’, but a good night’s sleep is rare. It’s not only getting to sleep that can be hard; it’s sleeping well through the night that can be a challenge.

A quality night’s sleep is important for overall health and wellbeing, we all know that – but it’s easier said than done. So what are our options?

1. To nap or not to nap?

Research says that good sleep hygiene includes maintaining regular sleeping hours and not napping during the day, which will help balance your natural sleep rhythms.

However, research also tells us that a quick 10 minute nap improves alertness and decreases fatigue – though they also warn that more than 20 minutes is too long and tends to cause grogginess (Milner & Cote 2009). So set your phone alarm if you are planning to nap.

how to get better sleep
“Set your phone alarm if you are planning to nap.” Image via iStock.

2. Monitor your hydration.

Drinking lots of water is important, unless you are planning to get on a bus or go to bed. Reduce your fluid intake in the evening and use the toilet just before bed to cut down on the night time visits.

3. Avoid stimulants.

I have a cup of herbal tea every single night but I make it weak. Stimulants, especially caffeine and alcohol, can affect your sleep. Try to stop drinking coffee, tea and alcohol around four to six hours before bedtime.

how to get better sleep
Try to stop drinking coffee, tea and alcohol around four to six hours before bedtime. Turning off the screen also helps you wind down. Image via iStock.
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4. Eat dinner.

Did you know that eating dinner is important because your brain is most active while you sleep, and needs energy to sustain it? I have never heard of this before. You have to balance it, though. Eat, but don’t overeat. Also eat early so your body has time to digest your dinner well before bedtime.

5. Prepare your bedroom.

There’s so much you can do to your bedroom to help you get to sleep. Minimise light and noise, shut doors, pull down blinds and just relax. Cut down on all electronics like TVs, PCs and all electronic devices because artificial light disrupts melatonin production which is the hormone of darkness and a key regulator of circadian rhythm, which regulates wakefulness and sleeping.

how to get better sleep
“Cut down on all electronics like TVs, PCs and all electronic devices.” Image via iStock.

6. A nice warm bath or shower.

Lowering your body’s core temperature aids in sleepiness so take a warm shower or bath before bed and then cool down by snuggling into cool, clean bed sheets. Gosh, this is making me want to go to bed right now… Lavender oil can also help you relax at bedtime, so sprinkle some on your bed sheets.

7. Natural alternatives.

A small cup of herbal tea – like camomile or passionflower – before bed can help promote sleep. My favourite herbal tea at the moment is a camomile and lemon blend.

Need a little extra help? You can also try a herbal medicine like ReDormin, which is a combination of valerian and hops that has been clinically proven to relieve sleeplessness and insomnia.

“You can also try a herbal medicine like ReDormin, which is a combination of valerian and hops that has been clinically proven to relieve sleeplessness and insomnia.”

ReDormin works to help restore healthy sleep patterns by normalising the circadian rhythm to promote a deeper, more restful sleep. It helps to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the time spent asleep, especially in the restorative deep sleep stage.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

How do you get better sleep?

Here are some music suggestions for winding down…

Want more? How about:

You can fall asleep in under a minute. Here’s how.

“Yes my daughter sleeps with me sometimes and no, I don’t care what you think.”

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