Stuff I Can Do
1. Stick to a routine
A good night’s sleep is key to feeling your best. Sticking to a regular sleeping pattern is one of the most important things you can do to get some rest and recuperation. As to when you fall asleep and wake up, see what works best for you and your lifestyle!
2. Your body is a temple, as is your bedroom
It’s easy to fall asleep when you have the right conditions. Like a Formula 1 car flying down the track, so long as it’s dry and warm (but not too warm) you’ll be cruising. Throw in some adverse conditions and all of a sudden there are more crashes than cars on the track. To feel assured that you are falling asleep in optimal conditions, make sure the kids are in bed, the lights are off, and the temperature isn’t too warm or cold.
3. Keep calm and sleep well
Even blokes need their beauty sleep. Sleeping on a mattress that’s uncomfortable can be a pain in the back… literally! Make sure your mattress isn’t too soft or too hard.
4. Let’s get physical!
You don’t need to whip out the leotards and leg warmers - we haven’t built up that kind of friendship just yet… but moving about and doing some exercise can help. If running isn’t your cup of tea, try something with less impact, like swimming or cycling. Just don’t do this close to bedtime - you’ll stay awake all night if you do!
5. Cut down on caffeine
It's best to avoid drinks with caffeine in the evening as they can keep you on high alert. Caffeine can affect you for up to 24 hours, so now you see why having that tea or coffee after dinner isn’t handy. Why not try a caffeine-free drink – they’re not as boring as you might think!
6. Avoid “food babies”
Going back for seconds sounds tempting – we’ve all been there at one point or another. Whether it’s a curry or a slice of cake, eating too much late at night can throw your sleeping patterns out of the window. The same effect happens when you drink too much alcohol.
7. Don’t smoke
Smoking is generally bad for your health, and it can stop you from sleeping properly. Smoking can make it more difficult to fall asleep, wake you up at ungodly hours, and flip your body clock on its head. The Stop Smoking Service helps people in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire to quit for good, with free support from their specialist advisers. Total Wellbeing Luton offers free stop smoking medication and support to people in Luton.
8. Find your Zen
Having a bubble bath or doing some yoga are very handy for helping you get some sleep. Having a wind-down routine before bedtime really does work. Why not try a relaxation CD or podcast? There are plenty available on Google Play or the App Store.
9. Dear diary...
You don’t need to have an actual diary, but sometimes writing down how you feel - especially when you’re stressed or worried - could help you figure out what you need to do. If you stay awake for a while worrying about tasks before falling asleep, try to make a list of things to help you plan your approach before bed.
10. Don’t worry
We know – telling you not to worry doesn’t make negative thoughts magically go away. But worrying about not being able to sleep can make falling asleep even harder. If you can’t nod off, get out of bed and try doing something relaxing for a while – you should find it easier to drift off afterwards.
For more advice on improving your sleep, visit the NHS website or check out the Sleep Charity.
Not getting a good night’s kip can turn your world upside down, for yourself and those close to you. 1 in 3 of us experience sleeping problems, here’s how to tell if you’re missing out on plenty of rest:
- Just can’t do it… you find it very difficult to shut down
- You can’t sleep for long… in fact you hardly get any sleep
- You keep waking up in the middle of the night. You might think it’s time to go to work, but it’s only 3:20AM.
- Getting up too early but can’t fall back to sleep
- You feel like a zombie when you wake up – completely drained
- Taking a nap becomes a myth, you're unable to take a nap
- You’re more snappy when you’ve not slept well.
Don’t feel alone. We all have nights where we can’t sleep properly, but for some of us it lasts for months or even years. Not getting the rest you need means your health and parts of your life will be affected.
What is the perfect sleep environment?
What would happen if you didn't sleep?
Local Help in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire
Worried about your sleeping problems? Check out the 'Stuff I Can Do' section of the website for some changes you can make to your lifestyle to try to improve your sleeping patterns. If you try these and your sleeping problems persist, your GP might be able to help you further.
For support to stop smoking, visit the Stop Smoking Service (Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire) or Total Wellbeing Luton.