Sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. But for many of us, sleep is hard to come by. Insomnia and broken sleep are plaguing the nation.
If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, we feel your pain! You are not alone. Millions and millions of people across the country admit that good quality sleep is hard for them to come by. Many even cite insomnia as a factor in health problems. But don’t worry! Help is at hand. Here are our top tips on how to get a good night’s sleep – naturally and for free.
We’re not suggesting that you unplug the wifi and chuck away your phone (after all, how would you read our site if you did that?). But switching screens off a couple of hours before bed can help a lot with sleep issues. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, flooding your brain with the blue light from screens fires up neurotransmitter receptors which interpret it as the cold light of morning. We’re attuned to wake up when this kind of light filters in through our eyelids, so using your screens in the evening is scrambling your circadian rhythms. Secondly, the barrage of notifications we get from our digital devices isn’t great for winding down and relaxing. So, put down the phone and pick up a book before bed.
Cut The Caffeine
Most of us can’t function before our morning coffee, but try to keep it to the morning. Too much caffeine in your system at bedtime is a recipe for a sleepless night. Same goes for alcohol and nicotine – both will mess with your sleep cycle, so treat them with caution!
Our bodies like predictability, and fall easily into rhythms. If you can synchronise the times you go to bed and get up every day, your body will start to anticipate it. It may take some time, but after a while your body will expect sleep at the time you’ve set for it, and will start winding down in readiness. You can speed this process up by trying to eat at roughly the same times every day, as well. Sounds simple, but it really does work!
Spend Time Outside During The Day
Or by a window. The important factor here is natural light. Our bodies set their internal clocks by natural light. The fact that we’re spending more and more time indoors these days probably has a lot to do with the uptick in sleep issues. The more light you can get on your face during the day, the more wakeful you’ll be when you need to be firing on all cylinders. You can also use this hack at the end of the day by heading inside and dimming the lights, cueing your brain to start dozing off.
People who do more exercise get better sleep. You don’t have to hit the gym for hours each day, but do try to get up off the sofa when you can. Something as simple as going for a lunchtime stroll can make all the difference.
Sleep deprivation is nasty, but following these natural hints really can help. You’ll be sleeping like a log in no time. Good luck, and sleep tight!