It’s the question John Lennon famously penned and one that many of us wake up to in the morning. So how did you sleep?
For some, the answer will be ‘really well’. For others, ‘not too bad’. But for a lot of people the answer is often ‘not great’.
Whether it’s struggling to fall asleep, waking in the night or waking too early in the morning, there are many issues why people don’t sleep well. However there are seven steps you can follow to getting a better night’s sleep: your bedroom, the bed, your lifestyle, stress and worry, diet, exercise and relaxation.
1. Your bedroom
If you’re having trouble sleeping, one of the first things to consider is your bedroom. In order to get a great night’s sleep you need the right setting, which means a clean, peaceful and welcoming room. Many of us are unknowingly sleeping in a bedroom that’s simply not fit for purpose, and that environment could be the key cause of a restless night. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to transform your bedroom into a space that encourages a peaceful night’s sleep.
2. Your bed
The foundation of a great night’s sleep is a comfortable bed. The right mattress can make a huge difference between a restful and restless night, saving you from fatigue and irritability for the rest of the day. An unsupportive mattress will encourage a poor sleeping posture, which prevents you from good sleep. If you regularly wake up with aches and pains, it’s probably time to change your mattress.
3. Your lifestyle
A few simple changes to your lifestyle can make a real impact on how well you sleep. At least an hour before bedtime make sure all technology is switched off, including your phone. The blue light given off by electronic gadgets causes the body to release less melatonin which interferes with sleep. Non-stop stimulation causes havoc when we’re trying to nod off.
4. How you deal with stress and worry
With so much going on in our lives, it’s little wonder that many of us are suffering from some elements of stress, with many having trouble switching off and getting a good night’s sleep at the end of the day. Practice several breathing techniques to banish anxiety and create a stress-less environment.
5. Your diet
The best food and drink for sleep include milk, cherries, chicken and rice, while fatty meat, curry and alcohol are some of the worst. Caffeine can also interfere with sleep – avoid drinking at least 8 hours before sleep time if you are affected. Have a milky drink or a soothing herbal tea instead.
6. Your exercise regime
Exercise tires your body out, promoting a better night’s sleep. It’s a good idea to work out earlier in the day and don’t overdo it right before bedtime. Wearing yourself out physically is unlikely to bring on sleepiness.
7. Learn to relax
If you wake up and struggle to get back off to sleep practice some deep breathing techniques. Spend five minutes indulging in pure relaxation and allow yourself to sink into a sound fulfilling sleep. If your mind is buzzing with things to do, write them down.