How to get a better night’s sleep

 

The health benefits of a good night’s sleep have been well documented, yet most of us make do with a few snatched hours squeezed into our hectic lives. 

We should be sleeping for at least six hours each night, yet according to a recent report by The Sleep Council, 33% of Britons are getting by on five or six hours sleep while 22% say they sleep poorly every night. 

A good night’s sleep is essential to your general well-being and health. This is the time when our tissues repair themselves, our muscles rest and our brain processes the events of the day. It has even been said that a good night’s sleep can help you to lose weight, as your body has more time to digest food and drink, and you are less likely to binge on caffeine, carbohydrates, chocolate and alcohol if you are well rested.

So how do you get the perfect night’s sleep, every night?

1. Invest in a great mattress

Your mattress is one of the most important purchases you will ever make. Take your time trying out mattresses of different sizes, firmness and materials.

2. Create an ‘electronic sundown’

Ban television, tablets, laptops and smartphones from the bedroom. Our brain gets confused by the blue light emitted from such devices late at night, keeping us awake and reducing the quality of our sleep.

3. No snacking before bed

We’ve all heard that cheese gives you nightmares, but in fact eating anything with a high fat or calorie content late at night can stimulate the body’s nervous and digestive systems, resulting in bad dreams or a disruptive night. Choose a carb-heavy supper-time snack, such as a piece of toast, or avoid late night snacking altogether.

4. Burn lavender oil

Lavender has been proven to help slow down the heart rate and blood pressure, putting your body in a more relaxed state. An hour before you go to bed, burn lavender oil or a lavender scented candle in your bedroom – just don’t forget to blow it out before you go to sleep!

5. Take more exercise

A healthy body means a healthy mind. Wear yourself out by taking at least 20minutes of cardio exercise every day, ideally outdoors. Your body will be so exhausted it will be begging for sleep, and you will wake up the next day feeling like a new person!

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