How to sleep soundly

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Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things we can do and we’re all only too familiar with what, sleep deprivation feels like! So this week we have a few helpful ideas of how you can get your sleep pattern back on track. Sweet dreams … 

Schedule

It’s best to get into a regular routine by going to sleep and getting up at a similar tie each day. This will help to set your body’s internal clock and the quality of the sleep you get will improve. Even though it’s tempting (and we’re all guilty of it) sleeping in for too long at the weekend, can disrupt this regular pattern.

Naps

An afternoon nap is perfectly fine, but this shouldn’t last two or three hours! The ideal nap time should be about 20 minutes long and it’s better to take these earlier, rather than later in the day. Sleeping too much in the late evening could make it more difficult to get to sleep at night.

Wind down

Try to stay away from things like laptops, tablets and even your mobile phone too close, to going to bed. The reason being, the blueish light these devices give out, can be disruptive when you are trying to wind down at night. A better alternative is to read a book or listen to some relaxing music instead.

Daytime activities

Keep active throughout the day! Studies show that doing some regular exercise will give you even more energy and can also help you to sleep better at night. If you suffer from things like insomnia or sleep apnea, exercise could help with those conditions also. Don’t expect to feel the effects of this straight away though, as it generally takes a few months before the effects fully kick in.

Food and drink

What we eat and drink during the day can have a much bigger effect on our sleep than we may realise. You should pay close to the things you consume in the hours leading up to bedtime especially. Try to stay way from alcohol and caffiene as these can make you more alert and also big meals too late in the evening should also be avoided. Instead, good snacks include a small bowl of cereal or a banana or a relaxing cup of tea, such as chamomile!

Catherine Devane