1. Create a calm and restful environment
Close down your laptop, put your phone down, turn off the lights and create a space that is calming and ideal for sleeping. Exposure to bright lights and electronics can stimulate your mind before bed which is the opposite of what we want when it’s time to sleep!
2. Stick to a sleep schedule.
If we go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends) it helps regulate melatonin, your body’s body clock which helps you fall asleep and helps you sleep more soundly.
3. Increase physical activity in your day and try not to exercise right before you sleep.
Exercise reduces anxiety and stress which is one of the biggest reasons for bad sleep. Physical exercise increases the time spent in deep sleep, the quality and the duration. Try not to exercise right before bed though, as adrenaline and cortisol are released during exercise which are the hormones that give you that boost – the opposite of what we want when it’s time to sleep.
4. Introduce a relaxing bedtime ritual.
This could be anything from a bedtime meditation, lighting a candle while sipping a cup of tea, to reading 5 pages in a book or writing in a journal, reflecting on your day. Whatever you choose, try sticking to it every night and your body will get used to this being your wind down time, the last thing you do before you get some shut eye.
5. Pay attention to your diet
Avoid heavy, large meals before sleep. Where possible leave a few hours between your last meal and bedtime. Being full could keep you awake, it also doesn't help your digestive system. Be cautious of how much nicotine, caffeine and alcohol you drink during the day too as these are stimulants and will have a lasting effect causing problems when trying to fall asleep. If you’re drinking tea just before bed, make sure that it isn’t a diuretic, you don’t want to be woken up by constantly needing to go to the bathroom.