How to get a good night's sleep
One of the most common reasons for not being able to sleep is not being able to ‘switch off’ because you are worried about something, or simply have a lot on your mind. Here is specialist sleep nurse Beccy Mullins perfect bedtime routine.
- Try to spend at least 30 minutes winding down at the end of the evening.
- Read quietly or listen to relaxing music for a short while before switching off your light but ban laptops and TV from your bedroom.
- Switch off your mobile phone and avoid checking emails before you go to bed.
- Have a warm bath before you go to bed.
- Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol late at night, and also try to eat earlier in the evening so you don't go to bed on a full stomach.
- If you exercise in the evening, substitute strenuous exercise for calmer exercise, such as yoga, which can help you relax.
- Ensure you reduce your liquid intake before going to bed so you do not have to get up in the night.
- Make sure your bedroom is not too hot or too cold. The ideal temperature is between 16C and 18C.
- Check your mattress and pillows are comfortable.
- Keep it dark, especially if you work shifts - you need to make your body think it's nighttime.
- Get into a regular routine, go to bed and get up at the same time, including weekends. Far from popular relief, once missed, you can’t catch up on sleep by sleeping in at the weekend. Better to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.
Note: Natural sleep is best. Sleeping tablets, even herbal ones, can have the effect of making your feel depressed, and can exacerbate the systems of sleep conditions such as sleep apnoea. Try the above suggestions before reaching for the pills.
Beccy Mullins, RGN is the Business Manager for Patient Services at ResMed UK Ltd. She is a Registered Nurse and has specialised in sleep medicine for 15 years, previously working at the Oxford sleep unit with Professor John Stradling as a clinical nurse specialist.
- Next schedule page update: Nov 2013
Page created on November 22nd, 2011
Page updated on November 22nd, 2011