We all know we should get enough sleep, but sometimes that's easier said than done. That's why I've put together these five tips to help you improve your sleep patterns.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
Whenever possible go to bed as near to the same time as possible every night and get up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. A consistent routine reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle. If you find that you don't fall asleep within about 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing and then go back to bed when you're tired.
2. Play it cool
Better to sleep in a cool room. Your body will shut down and relax easier when the room temperature and more importantly your body temperature is not to extreme. For instance, taking a very hot bath immediately before bedtime will spike your body core temperature and stimulate central nervous system function, thus heightening awareness levels at a time when you should be trying to lower stimulation. So it's not a good idea to take a hot bath before bedtime.
3. Mind your food and drink
Be smart about your food and drink consumption around bedtime. If you overeat or overdrink close to bedtime your body will want to continue to digest, process and eliminate during the night. This may leave you needing bathroom breaks during the night and with extra unwanted energy from any late night snacks.
Also avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol where possible as they are all stimulants and will dehydrate you.
4. Wind down
Turn off high drama TV, stop surfing the net and turn off all electronic devices about one hour before bedtime as part of your ritual. Research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.
5. Best way to fall asleep
If your mind is overrun with thoughts and you are finding it hard to relax I would suggest that you focus on your breathing. Start by making the duration of your in-breath match the duration of your out-breath. Give your brain the simple task of counting up to four on the in-breath and back down to one on your out-breath. Just keeping this cycle of breathing going and then make your breath flow as smooth and even as possible This should be enough to help you drift off to sleep in a very short space of time.
Implementing these tips should help you sleep better, helping you to feel more rested and leave you with more energy and focus. Click here to read my tips on increasing your productivity and maximising your potential.