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How to sleep better

It’s world sleep day and we all know there is nothing worse than waking up and still feeling tired. We have become a sleep deprived nation, on average 70% of the UK gets 7 hours or less sleep a night. Those getting even less than 6 hours is increasing year on year and to make it worse the sleep we’re getting isn’t even good quality. 27% of Britons experience a bad night’s sleep on a regular basis, sound familiar?

 

It needs to change. The NHS recommends getting a minimum of 8 hours good quality sleep every night to maintain good health and with 41% of us saying we feel more positive after a good night’s sleep, ensuring we get one should be top priority.

So, what can you do to get a good night’s kip?

1. Go to bed a reasonable time

This may seem obvious, but if your bedtime is teetering on midnight and you get up at 6.30am every morning then you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Work out what time you need to be hitting the sack in order to get a minimum of 8 hours and stick to that time.

2. Exercise

Studies show that people who exercise five-six times per week are least likely to take medication to help them sleep and 32% of people who are active daily say they sleep well most nights. Another reason why hitting the gym should be top of your to-do list.

3. Turning off technology

Scrolling through Instagram and keeping up to date with Facebook might seem like good pre bed past times but I’m afraid this might be what’s keeping you up all night. Keeping your mind engaged tells it that it needs to stay awake. So when you eventually put your phone down, you might find it hard to switch off. On top of this the blue light emitted by your phone or tablet screen, restricts the production of melatonin (a hormone that controls your sleep cycle) meaning that you will find it harder to fall and stay asleep. Give yourself at least 30 minutes of technology free time before bed.

4. Cut down on the caffeine

I know, it’s heart breaking and it’s a vicious cycle. If a bad night’s sleep is making you reach for multiple cups of coffee then this could only be making your problem worse. Try not to drink any caffeinated drinks in the evening. This means cutting the coca-cola, coffee and tea.