10 things to try for a better nights sleep

My top ten tips for a better nights sleep. 

I ask all my patients about sleep. It’s so important for general health and well being

Taking into account research and my own experience here are my top 10 tips for a better nights sleep

  1. Keep your bedroom, duvet and night wear cool. Overheating affects quality of sleep and ability to fall asleep. I’m a fan of the white company catalogue & dream of the perfect bedroom but sometimes flannel and a matching bed throw are not your friend. 
  2. Wear a sleep mask- essential. This is especially if you sleep with someone who comes to bed after you
  3. Keep a note book by your bed for any last minute thoughts before you put the light off. If you wake thinking of something, write it down
  4. Don’t keep your phone beside your bed – it’s too easy to scroll and flick onto amazon, the weather or even worse twitter
  5. Set a proper alarm for waking up- not your phone, see above
  6. Eat in the early part of your evening ideally 6-7pm, when you eat late expect that your digestion will still be working later and this will affect how well you sleep.
  7. Keep a glass of water by the bed but don’t drink too much before you put light out or you will end up like my 6year-old who I can hear running for a wee at 5am. And no one likes that getting up that early (unless you absolutely have to!)
  8. Find your pre-bed activity. Whether it’s a bath, reading, or watching reality TV, find what works for you and make it part of your routine. Remember too much TV at bedtime can postpone sleep so put the remote out of hands reach.
  9. If you are tired in the day and you have the ability to- have a nap- just make sure you set your alarm and relax into a 20-30 minute sleep. Too long and you feel worse than you did when you fall asleep
  10. If you have broken or poor sleep over a number of nights, take stock and think about what might be the cause. Stress? That mid-afternoon latte? An unresolved dilemma? Once you’ve have the ideas then you can work on the solution and that in itself can help you sleep better even if the problem isn’t an easily fixed one.

Dr Clara Russell