Last month, my friend told me that every night before bed she listens to the same song on her phone because it puts her in the right mood for sleep.

It got me thinking about what people do before they go to bed (some weird and some wonderful I’m sure) and that’s why this month’s poll asked that burning question ‘what do you generally do in the hour before bed?’.

And here’s the results:

The Sleep Council April-results-300x160 Still Hooked On Screen Time

I was kind of disappointed that no one had their feet massaged for 30 minutes or drank a special ‘sleep’ smoothie that was guaranteed to send them to the land of nod! Instead we’re still hooked on screen time.

The most popular option was watching a TV/film in the hour before bed, followed by checking social media. It would be interesting to know if those who answered either of those two options have trouble sleeping. One of the top pieces of advice for getting a good night’s sleep is to avoid screen time at least an hour before bed – and that’s everything from TVs and tablets, to mobile phones and gaming devices. The light from these electronic devices plays havoc with your body’s circadian rhythm tricking you into thinking it’s still daylight and keeping you alert instead of sleepy. Not only that but it can stimulate the brain making it harder to switch off.

Reading a book/magazine/kindle came in third place and is a great way of relaxing before bed with many people claiming it helps them to feel sleepy.

Household chores and having glass of your favourite tipple came in fourth and fifth place respectively. Drinking an alcoholic drink before bed echoes our latest figures from the Great British Bedtime Report 2017 which found that a quarter of people (25%) used alcohol as a sleep remedy compared to 16% in 2013 – a worrying statistic.

It’s interesting to see what people do in the hour before bedtime. Some of us take the time to enjoy more relaxing things like having a bath, reading or listening to music while some are still firefighting with their day and finishing chores or doing online shopping.

It’s important to recognise that to achieve good quality sleep, it’s necessary to have some ‘down’ time before bed. You need the time and the space to process the day, free your mind of clutter and chill. Getting into bed and expecting to sleep having just completed the ironing, done the online banking or watched a thrilling drama isn’t going to happen. Try to aim for at least 30 minutes before bed to unwind properly – trust us, it will improve your sleep!

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