There’s nothing worse than a bad night’s sleep. At the time, it’s frustrating. You lie there, wishing you were asleep, but you just can’t seem to slip into it. The more you lie awake, the more annoyed you get, and so this makes it even harder to get to sleep! It’s a vicious circle. The closer it gets to morning, the more you’re working out how many hours you’ve got left to sleep. Then you start thinking about all the things you need to do the next day, and you just know you’re not going to be in the right frame of mind for it.
The effect of lost sleep on our health
Lack of sleep brings with it a lot of adverse effects on our health. We feel tired and mentally drained. Our brains don’t function fast enough without plenty of sleep and everything seems like a lot of effort. This can cause us to make mistakes. If your job involves using tools or operating heavy machinery, this can be potentially very hazardous. A lack of sleep can even make your drive to work dangerous if you’re not able to concentrate fully on what you’re doing.
People who don’t sleep well are at a higher risk of some serious diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks and stroke. It can also lead to depression and reduce your life expectancy. That’s pretty major! A lack of sleep can also lead to obesity. This might seem odd, but this is due to the fact that your body makes the hormone leptin while you sleep, this hormone tells your body when you are full. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will also produce too much of the hormone ghrelin. This is the hormone that tells you that you are hungry. Add to this all those extra hours awake, and you’ll soon find yourself raiding the fridge for a midnight snack!
A good night’s sleep is also great for your love life. A lack of sleep can reduce your sex drive, and also lower your fertility. If you’re trying for a baby, lots of sleep is essential.
So how do you get a great night’s sleep?
So we’ve determined that sleep is VERY important, but if you don’t sleep well, what can you do about it? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to help you get a great night’s sleep. Read our tips and you’ll soon be drifting off into many hours of peaceful dreamy sleep – bliss!
Leave the phones out of the bedroom
One of the most common mistakes we make these days is to take our phones to bed with us. There are several reasons why this is bad for us. For one, it can be tempting to just take a quick look at our phones at night. Once you start reading your email or having a whizz through the latest posts on Facebook, you can find several hours have disappeared, while you should have been relaxing and getting to sleep! But, the most important factor is that mobile devices give out blue light. This tricks the brain into thinking it is morning. So your brain releases ‘it’s time to get up’ hormones! These hormones help you to get going in the morning, but they severely hinder you if you’re actually trying to get to sleep. Leave your phone outside of the bedroom. If you’re concerned that you might miss an important call in an emergency, then turn the volume up and leave it within hearing distance, but not within reach.
Check the temperature
Too hot, or too cold and you won’t sleep well. You may need to experiment with different types of bedding and mattresses until you find one that keeps you at the right temperature. It’s also advisable to invest in extra bedding to change to when the seasons change, such as a higher tog duvet for the winter months.
It needs to be dark
Total darkness is ideal for sleep. The problem is, many of us have light from street lights or other houses coming into our windows during the night. A blackout blind will solve this problem. They’re inexpensive to buy and fit just like any other blind. This will also help during the long summer days when you want to go to sleep before the sun has gone down.
It also needs to be quiet!
You’ll never get a good night’s sleep in a noisy bedroom. If you have traffic noise outside, or your family stay up later than you and you can hear them around the house, consider using ear plugs to block out the sound and help you to get to sleep. If there is a reason why you need to be able to hear, perhaps you have a sick relative who may call, or maybe you have a young child you need to listen out for, then could you take it in turns with your partner to be on listening duty, while the other one gets a good night’s sleep? Sleeping well every other night is better than not getting any sleep at all!
Create a tranquil environment
Your bedroom should be a peaceful haven. Try not to use the room for anything else so it is only associated with sleep. Make it as sumptuous and relaxing as possible. De-clutter, add some luxurious soft furnishings. Anything to make the room feel like somewhere you want to relax and luxuriate in.
Prepare your mind and body for sleep
The final tip is to start preparing for your night of great sleep in advance. Start slowing down your mind and body in the evening, well before bedtime. A soak in a hot bath can really help to relax your muscles and calm your mind. Getting into a routine with your sleep will work wonders in the long run, so try to get to sleep at the same time every night.
We hope these tips will help you sleep better tonight. If you don’t, then don’t stress, sleeping well may take a little time to achieve, but start a good sleeping routine now and you’ll get there!