- Lower the temperature
We all love a cosy home during winter, but if your room is too warm you might have trouble falling asleep. Try setting the temperature to between 16°C and 19°C.
- Take a warm bath or shower before bed.
This will heat up your bodies temperature and as it cools down it can send a signal to the brain to go to sleep.
- Get on a schedule
Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Your body actually has its own internal clock called the circadian rhythm. Our bodies are a mystery to us but this rhythm actually helps tell your body to be alert during the day and sleepy at night. We need about 7-9 hours or sleep a night so work out what your best sleep period is and stick to a schedule.
- Turn off the devices
The blue light that comes from TV’s, computers and mobile phones actually signals to the brain to stay awake. Try having a good book by your bed and before you turn off the light read a few pages.
- Try the 4-7-8 breathing method
Dr Andrew Weil, a wellness doctor, developed this simple but powerful breathing method that helps you unwind before bed. Here is the quick method
- First, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
- Exhale completely through your mouth and make a “whoosh” sound.
- Close your mouth, and inhale through your nose while mentally counting to 4.
- Hold your breath, and mentally count to 7.
- Open your mouth and exhale completely, making a “whoosh” sound and mentally counting to 8.
- Repeat this cycle at least three more times.
- Get some sunlight during the day
This one surprises most, but getting some natural sunlight during the day helps with the bodies circadian rhythms. It tells the body to stay alert, so then when you switch to a dark room at night, the body knows the difference and boost the production of melatonin which is an essential hormone for sleep. And of course, turn off the lights when you sleep!
- Don’t look at the clock
It is natural if you wake up that you want to look at the clock. But this is actually a common issue for people with insomnia. Looking at the clock wakes you up as you try to comprehend the time and the calculate how long you have slept or time left to sleep. If possible, put the clock out of sight so you are not tempted and after a few nights you will learn to avoid this sleep destroying habit.
- Avoid that midnight snack
You might find that eating a big meal makes you sleepy, well this is tru as your body turns all its energy to breaking down those calories, however, it is actually doing this to turn it into energy. So while you may sleep quickly, you will wake and be restless. Try eating only a light meal before bed or better yet, eat your meal several hours before bed.
- Get some exercise during the day
Exercise is important for us in many ways, but it has been proven to boost the production of serotonin in the b rain and decreases the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This helps you relax at night and then get a good nights sleep. But, like all good things, don’t do too much as this can have the reverse effect!
- Write down those thoughts or actions
Another surprising fact is that our brain struggles to turn off all those worrying thoughts and often despite how tired you are you keep running over these things in your mind. Research has shown that if you write these thoughts down on a bit of paper or if you write down an action list for tomorrow then the brain has a better chance of turn these thoughts off.
- Try the secret military technique
Soldiers often have limited time to sleep so have developed a technique to fall asleep quickly.
- Firstly relax all the muscles in your face
- Then do the same for your shoulders. Let them sink. Into the bed
- Do the same for the rest of your body
- Finally put all your focus on your breathing
It is amazing how easily this one works
- Get the right pillow
Our most important tip. Getting the right pillow helps keep your spine neutral during the night and increases the blood flow to your brain. Check out our pic below.