Did you know that almost half of Britons say that stress and worry keeps them awake at night?

Work pressures, financial worries, health issues or juggling family life are often the main culprits but sometimes external factors can have an effect on our sleep.

In July, the vote of the EU referendum was a major hot topic and all over social media, many expressed fears of trouble ahead. That’s why we asked on our monthly poll whether the EU vote had hindered your sleep. Luckily two thirds said no, but nearly a third (32%) said yes it had.

The Sleep Council July-poll-300x177 How Stress & Worry Can Affect Your Sleep
To cope with stress and improve your chances of sleeping well, it’s important to develop a good wind down routine. But first make sure your bedroom is conducive for sleep.

A restful bedroom environment should be cool, quiet and dark and free from distractions – that means removing computers, tablets, mobile phones and even TVs. Avoid screen time at least an hour before bed as the blue light that emits from these devices suppresses the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Comfort – whether that’s the bed or the bedding – also plays a large part in optimising sleep. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on an old, uncomfortable bed. Use adequate bed clothes and pillows.

It’s imperative that you avoid screen time at least an hour before bed. Don’t be tempted to fire up to the iPad or start scrolling through social media. Instead find alternative ways of relaxing – think a warm bath, soothing music or gentle yoga.

If you struggle to sleep or wake in the middle of the night with your mind – and heart – racing, try to practice some deep breathing techniques. If your mind is buzzing with things to do, write them down. Speaking positive thoughts aloud can help too

Don’t try to sleep – it needs to find you. Keep your eyes open and gently resist sleep or try to adopt a carefree, accepting attitude to wakefulness. Avoid clock watching if you can’t get to sleep within 15 minutes from switching light off then get up and go to another room and do something relaxing.

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