That is the question asked by many people every night.
The issue of sleeplessness is more common than you might imagine. In 2011 the UK’s Mental Health Foundation said that almost a third of the population suffered from insomnia to the extent that it was affecting their health.
It’s fair to assume that in the intervening years the situation may not have improved as many of us nowadays are subject to ever more stress in our everyday lives which can contribute to sleep problems of varying kinds.
Sleep problems can range from the fairly mild such as an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep right up to full-on can’t drop off at all. Insomnia at any level, whether mild or severe can be caused by such things as emotional issues, medication you may be taking or even your daytime and bedtime routines.
An inability to get enough restful sleep can certainly take its toll on day to day life and it is not surprising that many may resort to sleeping pills.
But before you rush off to see the doctor let’s take a look at some of the other ways in which you can achieve that longed-for refreshing sleep.
First Things First
The route to a restful night begins in firstly taking a good look at how the room is set out. Is it cluttered and claustrophobic? If so, try having a clear-out to achieve a more open space – working on the premise that a cluttered mind is a busy mind and a busy mind can never fully ‘switch off’. Is the temperature in the bedroom too high? Turn down the heating because it has been proven that a cooler temperature aids sleep. Are there electrical gadgets in the room like TV, computer or smartphone? Turn them all off. A bedroom should be dark and quiet to encourage restful sleep.
Then look at your bed and consider how long you’ve had it. The recommended lifespan of a mattress is 7 or 8 years. After this it becomes less supportive and less comfortable. If you feel you can’t get comfortable in bed, if you constantly change position or if you wake in the morning feeling stiff and tired this could be a sign that your bed needs replacing. It could be that you would benefit from a Respa bed.
Overhaul Your Daytime Routine
The things you do in the daytime can affect your sleep pattern. What you eat and drink has a bearing on how well you sleep too. For instance, if you eat a large meal late in the evening your body takes longer to digest this and you may develop indigestion or heartburn through the night. Using alcohol to fall asleep is a bad idea because it interferes with the quality of sleep, not least because you will keep waking up to use the toilet.
Caffeine based drinks like tea and coffee will keep you awake because caffeine is a stimulant. Much better then, to limit tea and coffee during the day and take your last one no later than mid-afternoon. Instead, make a warm milky drink just before bedtime along with a warm bath to induce sleepiness.
Try to take gentle exercise during the day and avoid daytime naps if you can to ensure you’re tired when you fall into bed at night. Most importantly, develop a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day – and stick to it. Follow these simple tips and you’ll soon be sleeping like a baby!