If you have trouble sleeping, you are far from alone. Studies show that around 31% of adults in the UK suffer with insomnia, I myself fell into that percentage for several years and continued to struggle with sleep even after this nightmarish period. Even with insomnia taken out of the equation, a staggering 22% of people in the United Kingdom struggle to sleep every single night.
How much do you get out of that 22%? There are several things that you can do to help improve your chances of a restful night’s sleep, and some may not be as obvious as others. One thing that could help, which could take a while to show any signs of effect, is to stick to a bedtime routine. Going to bed and rising at the same times, even on weekends, can eventually help to regulate your body clock which will help you fall asleep and, crucially, stay asleep until morning.
Comfort is everything
A good quality mattress, such as a Casper mattress, will support the body the body with no pressure points against sensitive areas such as the hips, shoulders and ankles. In addition to this, the spine will also be properly aligned with the rest of your body when using a high-quality mattress and your body weight will be evenly distributed. Comfort such as this is very important to a good night’s sleep.
Before hitting the bed, however, try a nice warm bath. This will not just relax your muscles, but it will also help your body to reach a temperature that is helpful for rest. With relaxation in mind, yoga stretches before your bath can help to further relax the muscles – it is advised not to exercise vigorously though as this will have the exact opposite effect.
Lots of people also swear by the effectiveness of a sleep diary. If you aren’t sure what this entails, it’s fairly straightforward. Put simply, you would make a note of the following for each day:
– The time you went to bed
– How long before you fell asleep, approximately
– How many times in the night you woke up and the total length of wakefulness
– The time you got up in the morning
– How you rate the quality of your sleep (1-5)
By keeping a sleep diary, you may uncover any underlying conditions that could be causing or exacerbating your lack of sleep. These can include stress and any medication that you may be taking.
Another good idea is to avoid using any electronic devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop etc.) for at least an hour before you retire for the evening as the light from the screen can have a negative effect on sleep. Of course, you should consider avoiding television during this period too, for the same reason.
Lie well, sleep well
As previously mentioned, the quality of the mattress is important. There is little to no point in following any advice here or elsewhere if the mattress you are trying to sleep on is not suitable. A memory foam mattress is by far the best mattress type that you could choose; they mould themselves to the shape of your body, eliminating stress points and ensuring optimum comfort. Obviously, the more comfortable you are, the greater your chances of better sleep. One of the best quality mattresses that you can buy is Casper’s memory foam mattress, which comes with a 100 day trial – perfect if you want to make sure that this is the mattress for you, as you have nothing to lose but a great night’s sleep to gain. Gillian Anderson is a fan herself, and you don’t have to be Scully to figure out that is a ringing endorsement.
Cut it out
As well as the tips already mentioned, there are things that you shouldn’t be doing, too. Caffeine should be an obvious one to avoid before bed, and yes that includes tea. Stimulants of any kind should be avoided before bed, but you’d be surprised by how many people seem to think that is a safe bet… it really isn’t. While tea contains roughly half the amount of caffeine vs coffee, it is still going to keep you up when all you want to do is sleep.
Following all of the above should set you on the path to a good night’s sleep. It took me a while to actually do something about my insomnia (being awake for 4 days/nights straight is not fun, trust me) but when I actually started to tackle it with the advice outlined here, I began to sleep like a baby… I sincerely hope that you do too.