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Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep? We are here to help!

Do you spend your nights staring at the ceiling and instead of counting sheep, do you just count the minutes before you can finally get up? Try our 8 tips for better sleep and wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

We’ve all been there. Sitting on a sofa in the evening, our eyelids feeling heavy, we take ourselves off to bed. But before we know it, our mind is a whirlwind of thoughts preventing us from falling asleep and the more we want to sleep, the more awake we feel. Alternatively, we do fall asleep straight away, but then we wake up several times a night for no apparent reason.

If you regularly wake up feeling as if you haven’t had enough sleep, this is for you. Good-quality sleep of sufficient duration is important for the healthy functioning of the body. So what can you do to fall asleep quickly and to sleep through the night?

1. Set a regular schedule

Some days you crash out at 8pm, at other times you end up reading till midnight. You are up at 6am during the working week whilst you don’t crawl out of bed until lunchtime at weekends. This is one of the most common mistakes of chronic insomniacs. Try to go to bed at the same time every day with no more than a 15-minute variation. And although you might not be pleased to hear it, this also applies to getting up. No matter whether it’s a weekday or weekend, make sure your alarm clock is always set for the same time. Paradoxically, you will have a better night’s sleep and you will wake up feeling more refreshed. If you manage to stick to this regime for some time, your body will get used to it and you will have no problem falling asleep in an instant and, after a while, you won’t even need your alarm clock to wake you up.

2. Create a bedtime routine

How do you lull your body to sleep? With a bedtime routine! If you carry out the same activities in the same order every night before going to bed, your body will learn that this will be followed by sleep and will switch to a resting mode, which means you will be asleep in no time.

Light a scented candle at your dinner table, brush your teeth, read a book for bit and then get under the covers. Or have a chat with your partner about your day, put your favourite relaxing piece of music on and have a hot shower before you retreat to the bedroom. The possibilities are endless – create a routine that will make you feel relaxed.

3. Treat both yourself and your bedroom to some fresh air

One of the perfect evening rituals could be a short walk in the fresh air. All you need is just 10 to 15 minutes which will help you clear your head, process everything you have experienced during the day and gently rock your body. Your bedroom should get the fresh air treatment too! The ideal temperature for falling asleep is around 17°C and the best way to achieve it is to quickly and fully air the room shortly before going to bed.

4. Change the time you exercise

The timing of your sports activities may also pose a problem. Do you exercise in the evening? And do you then struggle falling asleep as you are feeling energized and instead of lying in bed you’d rather go for a run in the park? Try doing your exercise in the morning or straight after work. Conversely, if you don’t do any sport in the evening and you don’t feel tired when going to bed, try to introduce some light, 30-minute activity that you enjoy into your early evening routine. It could be a light jog, yoga or some stretching exercises at home.

For your best night's sleep, strive to eat a balanced diet.5. No evening feasts and night time snacking

In order for your body to rest instead of being busy digesting, you should finish your last meal at least 90 minutes before going to bed. To stop those late-night sugar cravings, make sure your dinner is rich in protein and fibre.

6. Total darkness

Can you see anything other than total darkness after you switch your light off? Get yourself a sleep mask or blackout curtains. Any source of light can disturb your sleep.

Using a mobile phone in bed? Put it away and grab a book instead. What we’ve just said about light also applies to the light coming from electronic devices. The blue light emitted from these machines interferes with the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleep regulation, which is only produced in the dark. Unplug everything that gives out light for the night and make sure you stay off screens at least an hour before you plan to fall asleep. You’ll see how much more satisfying it will be to spend this hour with your partner, children or a book than with a phone in your hand mindlessly scrolling on social media.

7. Pleasant topics

Do you tend to give your partner a full account of how your colleague has annoyed you, how pressed you are by your deadlines or how you got stuck in traffic for an hour? Try giving these topics a miss and have a chat about the most pleasant experiences of the day instead. Talk about what went well and what you are looking forward to. The pleasant thoughts generated by a relaxing conversation are the best ticket for a ride into the realm of dreams.

8. Relaxation, breathing and release of tension

Do you feel that you need to unwind and relax before you go to bed? Try some gentle stretches, breathing exercises or meditation. Or you can just sit down and let everything go. Bring up some nice memories, listen to chill out music, close your eyes and focus on your breath. If you do this, sweet dreams are guaranteed!

 

Author: Andrea Skolková

Photos: KetoDiet, Veronika Hábová

 

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