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As anyone who’s ever spent a day feeling absolutely knackered will tell you, a good night’s sleep is important. The thing is, getting a good night’s kip isn’t easy: there are a lot of things that can wreck your chances of bedding down for eight solid hours.
That’s why we’ve put together this piece dedicated to the different techniques and tricks you can use to improve your quality of sleep. If you tend to struggle to drift off, any or all of these tips should help.
First things first
Just before we get started, it’s probably worth pointing out that everyone is different, and that it will probably take a bit of experimenting before you nail what works for you. Do take the time to do this: it’s worth it.
Now, let’s get going: there’s a lot of sleep to catch up on!
Tip number one: make sure you have a regular sleep schedule
Possibly the most common way to wreck your chances of sleep is by not sticking to a set time. Your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle – the circadian rhythm – has a serious preference for sleeping at the same time each day. Here’s how to give it what it wants:
Tip number two: Naturally regulate your own cycle
Let us introduce you to melatonin. This is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body when it’s dark, and helps you drift off. Unfortunately, it’s a lot trickier to avoid bright lights than it used to be: smartphones, tablets, TVs and e-book readers are all over the place! Essentially, you should be trying to get plenty of bright light during the day, and then as little as possible in the evening.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to get more light:
How to boost melatonin production at night:
Tip number three: Create a relaxing routine
Relaxation is a huge part of sleeping well. As such, it’s a good idea to create a proper ‘wind-down’ routine to let your brain know that it’s relaxing time.
Tip Number Four: Make sure you eat right
If your stomach’s got a load of work to do, it won’t take kindly to you trying to kip. It’s worth bearing the following things in mind regarding food and drink before you go to bed:
Tip Number Five: Use these techniques to help get back to sleep
It’s actually more common than you might think to wake up at some point during the night: fortunately, usually brief enough that you forget it. If you are waking up and having trouble getting back to sleep, though, try using one of the following techniques: