Is Your New Year’s Resolution To Get Better Sleep?

By sleepcounciladmin on January 4, 2013

Is Your New Year’s Resolution To Get Better Sleep?  Sleep: we all do it, but nearly half of us don’t do it well.

With those kinds of figures, it’s no surprise that many of you have made the decision to sleep better in 2013!

To make this your most well-rested year follow our top tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

• Keep regular hours. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time – your body will love you for it!

• Create a restful sleeping environment. Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep and it should be neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible.

• Make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old.

• Turn off electronics at least 20 minutes before bedtime. Bedrooms should be a sanctuary for sleeping. Anything entertaining or work related such as TVs, computers and tablets, games consoles and mobile phones should be turned off or even better, banned from the room as the blue light from them inhibits the night-time secretion of melatonin, playing havoc with your body’s circadian rhythms.

• Try to relax before going to bed. Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet music, do some yoga – all help to relax both the mind and body. Your doctor may be able to recommend a helpful relaxation tape, too.

• Deal with worries or a heavy workload by making lists of things to be tackled the next day.

• Take more exercise. Regular, moderate exercise such as swimming or walking can help relieve the day’s stresses and strains. But not too close too bedtime or it may keep you awake!

• Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine in tea or coffee – especially in the evening. They interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Have a hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.

• Don’t over-indulge. Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, just before bedtime, can play havoc with sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night.

• Don’t smoke. Yes, it’s bad for sleep, too: smokers take longer to fall asleep, wake more often and often experience more sleep disruption.

• If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.

Is getting better quality sleep important for you this year?


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5 thoughts on “Is Your New Year’s Resolution To Get Better Sleep?

  1. OK – I don’t smoke or drink. I go to bed each night at around 10.30-11.00 regularly. I have no tv or other electronic objects in my bedroom. I sleep with the window ajar to allow some air in. I have my evening meal at around 6pm. I walk the dog daily so have some exercise regularly. Usually I get to sleep between 4 am and 5.30 having tossed and turned and put on the light to read as I am so bored, or got up and gone downstairs until the dawn breaks. I feel shattered and ill all the time. I don’t doze in my chair or sleep during the day. Some days I feel so suicidal with exhaustion I really don’t see the point of facing another sleepless night to compound it. I have never slept well from childhood. I am now 66 and it is getting worse and worse. Diazapam makes no difference, neither do nice warm drinks, hot water bottles, Anadin or any tablets. I feel the need to be alert and on watch incase of trouble all the time and my anxiety levels are increasing. I live alone with a small dog who is a sweet companion. CBT has not helped. No doctor has got to grips with this and it is taking over my life. Any ideas other than a bang over the head with a hammer?

    1. Hi Daphne, I’m sorry to hear you have such awful problems with sleep. From our point of view you are certainly doing all the right things to bring on sleep but obviously this isn’t working for you. You really do need to seek further professional help. Have you spoken to the Insomnia Helpline, which is run by trained nurses? The telephone number is 020 8994 9874 (6pm-8pm daily). Alternatively could you ask your Doctor to refer you to a sleep clinic? I hope you get the help you need but if we can be of any further assistance, please contact us on 0845 058 4595. Best regards, Lisa

    2. I’m not an expert, but maybe stop focusing on the problem. Try being thankful for the time you’ve been given, even if it time given from lack of aleep. Start pursing something that you love. Maybe give your time to others as a volunteer. Once you stop focusing on yourself and your problems things will start to change for you. “Change your prospective, change your life.”

  2. Just from personal observation I think people struggle to sleep these days because we’re so much busier with technology growing and giving us direct access into each other’s lives e.g. some people check their Facebook statuses on a very frequent basis. It would be interesting to compare statistics from previous decades with our current records of reported insomnia cases. Using this you could historically cross-reference it with major events and see if there are any similarities.

    1. We agree with you. People definitely don’t switch off the same. In fact there was a recent survey that said people are going to sleep 90 minutes later than 10 years ago because they sit in bed using Facebook and Twitter. I think you’re right in that it would be make for interesting reading to see a comparison between then and now regarding insomnia.

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