30% of the UK is currently severely sleep deprived. Research reveals that if you are finding it hard to sleep at the moment your anxiety is peaking at night.
Get up and try again.
Don’t force yourself to stay in bed if after about 20 minutes you are still struggling to fall asleep. Get out of bed and do something that is calming or even boring until you start to feel sleepy again. You could try going into another room and focusing on your breathing. Avoid anything that it too stimulating or involves a lot of light.
Stay away from caffeine, nicotine & alcohol.
Do not consume any of the above four hours before you plan to go to bed. Some of these substances can act as stimulates and interfere with your ability to sleep. There is a misconception that alcohol can be relaxing and help us get to sleep. However, this isn’t really the case and can actually interrupt the quality of sleep.
The right space.
It is very important that your bedroom is a quiet, comfortable and relaxing space for you to be in. You can do a few things to make sure that your room is ready for you. Make your bedroom a bit cooler and have more blankets, scented candles, invest in comfortable pillows and bedding, blackout blinds or curtains or an eye mask and earplugs. These things could make your bedroom a much more desirable place for sleep.
Bed is for sleeping.
Try your hardest not to use your bed for anything other than sleeping so that your body can associate your bed with sleep. If you use your bed for things such as work, paying bills, watching copious amounts of TV or even eating you’re sending the message to your body that this is a space to be active.
Having a good sleep ritual is so important. Try and get yourself in a routine before you go to bed. Whether that is reading or listening to music for half an hour before you intend to go to sleep. You might light candles and practise meditation. Stretching and breathing exercises or even having a relaxing bath can all help. This is personal to you, so make sure that you’re doing activities that relax you.
Stop clock watching.
A lot of people who have trouble sleeping tend to be the people that wake up in the middle of the night and check their watch or phone. These negative thoughts about how early it is, is not what you want to be reinforcing. Also, the light from the device could disrupt your sleep.
Eating right and exercising should just be part of your normal daily routine anyway, but regular exercise is a great way to improve your sleep hygiene. I have noticed that by exercising in the evening after a day at work I almost tire myself out so find it easier to fall asleep.
I hope these tips on improving your sleep hygiene can help improve your sleep and maybe help you feel less anxious at night. Sleep is a massive contributor to your mood, wellness and productivity.