Sleep is key to both your physical and mental wellbeing. Feeling tired impacts on your concentration, memory and your ability to perform daily activities at work and at home.
The following tips can help you get to sleep and have a quality night's sleep.
- Try to keep your room cool. Sleep with a warmer duvet rather than keeping your room hot.
- Rituals actually matter - you need to give your body cues that it's time to slow down and sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing (not work related) for 15 minutes or have a caffeine free drink.
- Try to avoid watching TV from bed or using your laptop or tablet, e.g. to check Facebook. This means when you go to bed your body knows itís time to sleep. Bed should only be used for sleep (or sex).
- Switch off your mobile phone or leave it in another room as recent research has found mobile phones to be a cause of sleep deprivation due to excessive use and being awakened in the night by texts and Facebook notification.
- Regular exercise can help you sleep well but not if you exercise within four hours of going to bed.
- Caffeine and nicotine are stimulates, so will prevent you getting to sleep when you have them in the hours before you go to bed.
- A warm glass of milk actually works! See our Eat for Wellbeing page for more advice on your eating habits.
- Your body likes natural rhythms. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday (yes Ė even the weekends!)
- Adults need approximately 7 to 8 hours sleep per night to ensure optimal physical and mental functioning
- And finally, wake-up well... When you get up in the morning seek some bright light to look at for a few minutes, it will stimulate your body to wake up. The sun is best but we live in England - artificial light works too!
But if you really can't sleep...
- If you can't get to sleep within 20 minutes get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy. But donít expose yourself to bright light or doing something stimulating like checking Facebook, playing a computer game or reading an interesting book - you will just wake yourself up more.
- Have a warm glass of milk.
- Listen to some soothing music or do some relaxation exercises.
- For further advice and help on how to sleep well visit our Counselling and Mental Health pages.