If you find that you’re tossing and turning a lot before going to sleep at night, or perhaps nodding off initially but then waking up again after a few short hours, it may be your bedtime routine and environment that’s making it difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep. You really need regular, quality sleep to function properly and to stay healthy, so here are a few ways in which you can achieve sufficient sleep so that you wake up feeling rested and ready for a new day:
Start with your bedroom, ensuring this is comfortable and conducive to a peaceful night. When it comes to colours, blue and green are considered to be calming and relaxing and you could use these, together with white, on bed linen as well as on walls and floors. Change to low wattage bulbs for the bedroom, where the lighting should be soft rather than harsh, and easy to control.
You should also control the way daylight enters the room so you can achieve the level of darkness you prefer – smart, wooden shutters offer the best level of control, better than heavy curtains or blackout blinds because you can alter the slats to easily and quickly dim or brighten a room. In fact, shutters are also good for noise control, reducing the sounds of traffic or loud neighbours, so it’s worth visiting a website that provides solid wooden shutters with a view to dressing your window interiors with them. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours so you can easily match them with your décor.
A good quality bed frame and mattress is essential to good quality sleep. The Sleep Council recommends that if you haven’t upgraded your mattress in the last seven years, now would be a good time to do it. You should have sufficient space in your bed to turn and to stretch comfortably.
It’s not good to watch television or stare at computers just before bed, so don’t expect to fall immediately into peaceful, restful sleep mode after an exciting gaming session or programme. Instead, a warm bath is soothing, and reading a book or listening to music or the radio will help you to relax. Some people like to write a ‘to do’ list for the next day at the end of an evening, helping them to rid their minds of any distracting thoughts. Others like to practise some gentle yoga stretches or use a relaxation CD.
Insomnia can be caused by stress, diet or medication, depending on your lifestyle habits. Tackle stress, perhaps using relaxation exercises; think carefully about what you eat and drink in the evening and check with your GP if you suspect medication may be interfering with your sleep.
Sometimes insomnia is merely temporary and disappears after a short time. However, if you have suffered sleepless nights for an extended period, check on whether your environment is sleep-friendly and improve your bedtime routine.