Posted on March 24, 2023 by Jenny Cromack
The 17th March was not only St Patrick’s Day but also World Sleep Day. When looking at improving our health and wellbeing, improving our sleep is often overlooked….sleep is often something we take for granted. But we all know how we feel when we don’t have a good night sleep….groggy & grouchy, more likely to snack on sugary foods, less productive at work. So why is it then that we neglect such an important area of our wellbeing. We look at five simple ways of how to improve your sleep, why not put them into practice and see if it helps you get a better nights sleep.
Natural light controls your circadian rhythm, which regulates sleep-wake patterns. Exposure to daylight in the morning and early afternoon results in more consistent and better quality sleep. Aim to get outside for a short walk on a daily basis, even on cloudy days.
Exercise not only promotes better health, but it can also make it easier to sleep on a night. If you struggle to sleep, try to get your exercise in earlier in the day and avoid exercising too close to bedtime
AVOID CAFFEINE LATE IN THE DAY
Caffeine is a stimulant and stays in your system for hours after consumption; even 5-6 hours after consumption, half of it is still in your body. As caffeine is a stimulant, it will be counterproductive to getting a good night’s sleep. If you struggle with your sleep then consider giving yourself a cut-off window in the afternoon of around 6 hours before you go to bed to have your last caffeine boost of the day.
It’s safe to say that too much alcohol can make you feel tired. But it can also disrupt your sleep pattern and makes sleep less restorative. For a good night’s shut-eye, avoid any alcohol in the evening.
BLUE LIGHT & SCREEN TIME
The blue light emitted from screens such as mobile phones & tablets can negatively impact the body’s need to induce sleep. For optimal sleep, ideally you should minimise screen time for an hour before bed, but maybe start off with 15 minutes before and build up.
To optimise your sleep, try to have the same sleep pattern of when you go to bed and wake up each day. Also, create a quiet, dark and cool environment; these are the most conducive conditions to a good night’s sleep. Night, night!