How To Get A Better Night's Sleep // 10 TIPS

As enjoyable as sleeping is, is there anything more frustrating than not being able to fall asleep when it's the only thing in the world you want to do? We've all been there. You've been lying awake in bed for what feels like a century, you turn on your phone only to be blinded by the beaming screen and see it's 3:32am. You let out a huff and turn over, knowing that, for at least the next hour, that's all you're going to be doing, tossing and turning until you eventually drift off and get a solid 30 minutes worth of sleep.
Insomnia is a pain, but it's conquerable, and the steps you can take on your journey to beating it are simple. Everyone deserves to get a good night's sleep every night, because it's our body's chance to recharge and our brain's chance to switch off, things they need to do in order to keep us alive and healthy. We need at least seven hours of sleep every night - at least - no less, as researchers have found that six just won't cut it. If you're struggling with sleeping properly, counting sheep is all well and good until you realise it doesn't work, so, check out my list of tips.

1) Limit naps
Who doesn't love a nap? A light sleep in the middle of the day can make you feel five years old again. However, try limiting naps to 15-20 minutes in the afternoon because, otherwise, they can actually be doing more harm than good. You are much more likely to sleep for longer at night if you reduce the amount of time you sleep during the day.

2) Set your body's internal clock
Where possible, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will probably be easier if you have some sort of routine or need to be up early for school or work. Setting your body's internal clock will help ensure your sleep is of top quality.

3) Fight through the post-food drowsiness 
Many people are prone to feeling sleepy after eating a big meal but it's important to keep your mind occupied and yourself busy during this period. If you sit down to watch TV and find yourself dozing off, do something to stimulate your brain and keep active. Call a friend, do some washing... if you fall asleep after dinner, you're likely to wake up in the middle of the night when you do actually go to bed and you'll find it tricky to get back to sleep.

4) Put down your phone!
Switch off your laptop, TV, tablet or phone at least an hour or two before going to sleep. The blue light emitted from these screens will disrupt your sleep so, if you do need to use your device, at least  try to turn the brightness down. A better option would be to read a book or listen to music as these tasks are more relaxing as opposed to stimulating and will help your brain slowly unwind so it isn't active during the sleeping period.

5) Limit caffeine 
Caffeine can cause sleep problems, even up to 12 hours after drinking it! There's no need to rid your diet of it altogether, however, do try to reduce the amount you intake if you're having issue with sleeping as you are sure to see a change.

6) Avoid big meals late at night
Eating after 8pm means your body won't digest your food properly so attempt to eat evening meals earlier, where possible. Avoid heavy foods which will sit on your stomach at least two hours before bed, especially acidic foods which could cause heartburn during the night.

7) Relax
Most of us lead busy lives and find it difficult to switch off. We always feel like there's something we need to be doing or we're planning ahead for the next day. It's vital you relax your mind if you want a proper night's sleep. Try some deep breathing exercises, relaxing your muscles and visualisation activities, such as visualising a relaxing place or an image that you find calming.

8) Make sure your bed is comfortable
This one may seem strange as, who doesn't love their bed? However, it may not be doing you any favours if you're having trouble sleeping. Make sure you have enough room to stretch and turn comfortably to prevent yourself from waking up with a sore back. Experiment with different duvets, mattresses and pillows until you find a combination which works best for you.

9) Keep it quiet
It may seem obvious but ensure your sleeping environment is quiet - there may even be noise around you which you've become so accustomed to that you aren't actually aware of. Block out noisy neighbours or traffic with a fan, sound machine or ear plugs.

10) Learn how to get back to sleep
If you wake up in the middle of the night, how you deal with the situation can determine how long you go on to sleep for. If you've been awake for more than 15 minutes, get out of bed and do a non-stimulating activity and avoid bright lights. Also, avoid overthinking or getting inside your own head - postpone worrying until the morning! Breathing exercises are also beneficial.

How do you switch off before bed? <3

Love, Emily :)  xx

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