Today is World Sleep Day and just like last weeks Napping Day we'll be celebrating by...well having a snooze! But what if you are one of the estimated 16 million UK adults who often suffer from sleepless nights?
Insomnia can present itself in many different ways:
- Struggling to fall asleep a night
- Lying awake at night for long periods
- Waking up in early in the morning
- Feeling drained when awake
- Waking often during the night
Whilst there are many medical reasons why someone might suffer with insomnia it is thought that lifestyle and modern technology are responsible for a huge number of cases. So what can you do to try and improve your nights sleep?
We have put together a short list of self help tips:
1) REDUCE EXPOSURE TO BLUE LIGHT AT NIGHT
Electronic devices such as smart phones and computers emit blue light which can trick your brain into thinking it is still daytime. This can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep.
Once you get into bed avoid phones, computers and televisions. If you really must use them it is worth using blue light filters or glasses and installing apps that can block blue light.
2) STICK TO REGULAR SLEEP HOURS
Going to bed and waking up at the same times each day can improve your sleep dramatically as your body becomes programmed to the routine. Whilst this isn't an option for everyone, especially shift workers, it really is worth trying to get into a regular sleep routine.
3) SWAP SLEEP POSITIONS
This one is so simple but so effective. Often our brains become used to being awake in bed and no matter how hard you try and sleep it can be near impossible to break this. Sometimes by simply swapping which end of the bed your head is at you can trick your brain into thinking it is somewhere else and fall asleep!
4) CUT DOWN CAFFEINE
We all know that caffeine keeps us awake. It interferes with the process of falling asleep and it can actually prevent deep sleep. So avoid tea, coffee, colas and energy drinks in the evenings.
5) DON'T SMOKE
The nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant. Research tells us that smokers take longer to fall asleep, wake up more often and have the most disrupted sleep. As well as the other huge health benefits to stopping smoking, you could find your sleep improves very quickly.
6) WRITE DOWN YOUR WORRIES
Many people find they lie in bed worrying about the things they have done and the things they have to do, rather than sleeping. It can be very beneficial to set aside some time before bed to write down plans for the next day and any worries that you have. It is much easier to sleep with a clear mind.
7) LET LAVENDER HELP
It is important that your bedroom is a calming and comfortable environment. The right temperature and lighting will help you to fall asleep more quickly, but also the right fragrance can play a huge part.
Research has shown that essential oils, such as lavender, can help you to drift off more quickly and have a better nights sleep. All Natural Essentoils sleep sprays contain Lavender and when sprayed onto your pillow just before bed they can help to improve your sleep quality. Even better they contain no synthetic chemicals, are 100% natural, cruelty free, vegan and are now packed in reduced plastic packaging. You can find out more here.
If you are struggling with insomnia consult your GP or find out more at www.nhs.uk