So many of us can have difficulty sleeping. But how do I help myself fall asleep? What can I do to stop myself waking up in the night? What can I do to avoid disrupted sleep?
Here are some tips that are widely recognised as the best ‘sleep hygiene tips’ by doctors, psychologists and therapists, worldwide.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
- Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
- Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy.
- If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
- Establish relaxing bedtime rituals.
- Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
- Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
- Limit exposure to light in the evenings.
- Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
- Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
- Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
- Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.
- No screens (that means phones, computers and TV) for at least an hour before bed
Particularly with depression and anxiety, distressing thoughts can make it hard for sufferers to fall or stay asleep. In this case, try Worry Time to help settle your mind.
Again, those with Anxiety and Depression can find that residual levels of tension prevent us from relaxing and falling asleep. In this case, Progressive Muscular Relaxation can help you relax.
Of course, disrupted sleep is often a side effect of physical and mental disorders, as well as the medication used to treat them. Make sure, by consulting your doctor, that you are getting the best support for treating the underlying problem as this will have a more beneficial effect on your sleep in the long run.
Don’t forget, if it’s insomnia you’re dealing with, there’s a great free app available here.
www.happii.uk is a website providing information about mental health and wellbeing.
Happii.uk is provided by Anna Batho, a therapist working in High Wycombe and providing therapy in Amersham and the wider Buckinghamshire (Bucks) region.
You can contact her here.