Pic: Experts have compiled their top tips for perfect sleep. Credit: Jamie Grill/Getty Images
A good nights sleep is essential for staying healthy- however, not many people have the perfect bedtime routine.
Poor sleep is often linked with a number of serious health problems that can include diabetes, heart disease, depression and an increased risk of stroke. So making sure you have a good nights sleep is crucial.
Creating a proper wind-down routine before going to bed can help to ensure a better night’s sleep. This routine should reduce the physical and mental stimulation from the day just gone.
There are a number of different ways of relaxing and people may have their own techniques.
Sleep experts at MattressNextDay have come up with their top tips to help Britons to improve their bedtime routine and get a better night’s sleep:
Pick up a book
Reading before bed is a very good method to help drift off. It is best to pick a space away from bed to read, so the bed doesn’t become associated with reading and it is best to pick a reading choice for pleasure- not work related reading.
Have a stretch
Gentle stretched before sleeping can help destress and improve moods. This can help the body settle before getting into bed. These exercises should be light and low impact, like head roll, bear hugs and seated butterfly.
Listen to music
Music triggers a dopamine response similar to food, exercise and sex. These give our bodies a positive feeling and can decrease the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Dim the lights
Too much light exposure before bed can dramatically affect the quality of your sleep. Try switching the bulbs in bedrooms to a warmer yellow hue or opt for a side lamp instead of the main light.
Sip a warm drink
Herbal teas and warm milk are a popular choice to help people doze off. However, cherry juice and coconut water are also popular as they promote muscle relaxation.
Just make sure the drink is caffeine free.
Write down thoughts
The mind is often still active after a busy day and this can often stop people from drifting off to sleep. Writing thoughts down on paper can help to clear the mind before bed and can be referred back to the next day.
Limit caffeine consumption
Limiting caffeine consumption is important as the half-life of caffeine can last up to several hours. Coffee lovers should try and keep their drinking of it towards the beginning of the day and ease off in the early afternoon.
Put the phone down
Phones and devices emit a sensitive blue light that can inhibit the ability to sleep if used too close to bedtime. Most devices have a night time function that will give the screen an orange tone which can be utilised to help drift off easier.
Choose a scent
Lighting a candle or diffusing an essential oil as a form of pre-bed aromatherapy can help induce a calm state in the room. Lavender has long been associated with creating a soothing atmosphere as well as vanilla and jasmine.
Take a bath or shower
Taking a warm bath or shower can help aid a better night’s sleep as it helps to regulate the body’s natural internal temperature. Not only this but there are links between this warm water exposure and lowered blood pressure. The steam can also help nasal congestion if you have a cold, allowing for an easier rest.
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