We can all relate to the feeling of a bad night’s sleep. It can ruin your day, put you in a bad mood, and even make you emotional. This is perfectly natural, but it needs to be avoided as much as possible. While the odd sleepless night is fine, you can’t afford for it to develop into a constant habit.
Indeed, getting a good night’s sleep is vital for your mental health and the proper functioning of your body. Without it, your life can be seriously affected. Unfortunately, in an age of constant communication, screens, excessive dopamine stimulation and increasingly blurred working hours, getting some all-important shut-eye is harder to achieve than ever.
This can quickly cause panic if you cannot fall asleep when you want to. The more intense this frustration becomes, the harder it will be to fall asleep, so you need to develop lasting habits instead.
Here are some top tips for getting the perfect night’s sleep:
Make sure your bed is comfortable
The first and arguably most crucial step in getting a good night’s rest is ensuring your bed is suitably comfortable.
This might sound blindingly obvious, but many people struggle through disrupted sleep patterns for years, unaware that their bed is the culprit.
If your mattress or pillows are too firm or soft, your duvet and sheets too scratchy or hot, or your bed frame too creaky, you may need to make changes. It’s easy to get your set up perfect, but over time screws come loose and your bedding wears down.Investing in a solid wood bed with a supportive mattress is the best way to start getting better shut-eye.
Turn off screens an hour before bed
A more recent cause of poor sleep among many people is excessive screen time just before bed.
There are a few important reasons why this is a bad habit. Firstly, screens emit blue light, which stimulates the brain similarly to natural light. Therefore, your brain will think it is daytime, even when the body is tired, and you are ready for bed. It is essentially self-induced jet lag and can quickly screw with your REM cycle.
What’s more, with social media platforms and easy-to-consume content designed to overstimulate your dopamine receptors, your mind may start buzzing and wake up right when you need it to switch off.
Do yourself a favor and keep away from screens for the last hour before bed.
Build a Routine
Lastly, to induce healthy sleeping patterns, you should aim to have a sleep routine – i.e. bedtime and your alarm are set at the same time every day.
If your body doesn’t have a natural rhythm to fall into, it won’t know when to start switching off and when to switch back on again. Although you can’t force when you go to sleep, getting into bed at roughly the same time can teach your body when to start winding down.
Similarly, wake up and get out of bed as soon as your alarm clock goes off. It may feel like torture, but it is the only way to create a strong body clock and stop feeling groggy for most of the day.