A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. – Irish Proverb
You can keep your drugs and sex. For me, there is absolutely nothing on earth that compares to a great night’s sleep.
We have all experienced it at one time or another – we wake from a night of deep, unbroken sleep and we feel invincible like we could jump up and touch the sky.
Conversely, we’ve all felt the opposite too. The almighty cloud that hangs over our every move after a bad night’s sleep. Or several bad nights in a row. And while we all know the immediate impact of poor sleep, like a banging headache and unsightly bags under our eyes, we may not realize the more serious long-term effects.
Chronic sleep deprivation can all manner of negative consequences for both our mental and physical health, from depression to heart disease.
So how do we go about having more of those dream-filled nights and less of those horrible waking nightmares? Well read on and I will let you in on the best way to have a good night, every night.
How to Have a Good Night’s Sleep for a Better Tomorrow
Get sweaty, get tired
Get sweaty, sounds silly I know, but so few of us actually get the correct amount – or any amount – of exercise a day. So my first tip is do something that gets you sweaty or at least out of breath every single day.
If your head hits that pillow of yours in the evening properly tired, then nothing is going to keep your eyes from closing.
I really don’t care what you do, take the dog for a walk, run around the garden, do a hundred press-ups, have more sex, dance like nobody’s watching…do absolutely anything, just make sure you do for at least 30 minutes a day.
And playing one five-a-side football match, or attending one yoga class a week does not count. Well, it does for that day but you need to be getting daily exercise.
Trust me on this one, it’ll make a massive difference in your ability to sleep. Now go get sweaty Betty!
Think about what you sleep on
Why is it sometimes we can sleep the entire night through, get our full doctor-recommended eight hours, and still feel terrible in the morning?
Well, this could be something to do with what you’re sleeping on or how you’re sleeping. It constantly surprises me how many of us make do with old, creaky, sagging mattresses. And as a result, many of us crawl out of bed in the morning with completely avoidable aches and pains.
The same goes for how we sleep. Lots of us don’t really think about how we sleep, we just lie down, toss and turn and eventual drop-off. But there are good ways and bad ways to sleep and these differ depending on our bodies.
Switching up sleep positions can have a big impact on how you feel in the morning.
If you feel you could do with a little guidance on how to get the most out of your sleeping position, check out this fascinating guide from the experts at the Sleep Advisor on whether sleeping with a pillow is right for you.
Go on a light diet
I don’t mean eat less, I mean have a look at the light you consume in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
The modern world is full of light, so much so that sometimes it can be hard to work out if it’s day or night. Unfortunately, our brains haven’t quite caught up and they still associate light with being alert and awake. So why not give you poor grey thought sponges a little helping hand and limit your light intake in the evening.
Firstly, dim the lights around your home in the hours before bed. Where possible light your home with lamps and not bright overhead lights. If it’s winter time and the days are short, try and synchronize the dimming of your own lights with sunset.
Secondly, screens should be banned from your bedroom. It isn’t a cinema so stop watching films in bed. Treat your bedroom like a sanctuary dedicated to sleep. Sleep, and well maybe a little of the good stuff.
Speaking of sex, ban screens from the bedroom and instead of checking your Twitter feeds before bed every night you and your partner might start redirecting that attention elsewhere – like each other. You’re welcome!
Third and finally, eradicate any light pollution. This means making sure your bedroom is pitch black when you turn out the light.
This may involve Investing in a quality set of blackout curtains or blinds. Or it could be as easy as buying one of those little sleep masks. Whichever you go for, the impact of a perfectly dark room can have an immediate effect on our sleep.
Well, there you have it – three tips on how to achieve a good night’s sleep. Hopefully, they work for you and tomorrow you will wake up feeling like you can take on the world.