Mind & Body

How to get a better night’s sleep

Portrait of a woman sleeping on the bed at home

With a huge increase in the amount of time we spend in front of a screen, be it a computer, tablet, smart phone or TV, it’s no surprise that many of us find it difficult to switch off at night and get a good night’s sleep. With 24 hour access to social media, emails, news and shopping it can be hard to clear the mind and unwind. Add to that the pressure of work and family commitments; it can spell disaster for our sleep routines.

But, with a few simple steps, you can transform your sleepless nights into a slumber wonderland. Here are our top 5 tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

Get into a routine. No matter what time you finish work, have dinner, put the kids to bed, etc, one of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This will allow you to get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, leaving you feeling refreshed and energised when you wake up. Aim for 8 hours a night.

Create a restful bedroom. It’s easy to be tempted to switch on a TV if there is one in your bedroom, but looking at a screen before you try to sleep will only make it harder for your brain to switch off and fall asleep. Try not to have any technology in the bedroom, instead read a book or magazine or listen to an audio book.

Aromatherapy oils. When you are finding it particularly hard to wind down after a stressful day, try adding a little aromatherapy oil to a warm bath or use an aromatherapy oil to massage your shoulders. Look for essential oils such as Lavender and Frankincense which are known for their relaxation properties and aiding restful sleep.

Get into good daytime habits. By ensuring that you get plenty of exposure to natural light during the day and making time for regular exercise, you are building good foundations for a good night’s sleep. If you are at work most of the day, try to get outside during your lunch break and have a sort walk if possible. Also try to keep curtains and blinds open as much as possible when at work or home to increase natural light exposure.

Don’t eat heavily before bed. Try to have your evening meal before 7pm and avoid rich, heavy foods for at least 2 hours before going to bed. Also avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol before going to bed as they reduce sleep quality which may mean you wake up during the night and can’t fall back to sleep. Drinking a large amount of any fluids shortly before bed will unsurprisingly lead to frequent trips to the toilet during the night, so avoid this too.

 

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