We’re often reminded of what we shouldn’t be doing if we want to sleep. Things like: don’t take electronic devices to bed and don’t drink alcohol or caffeine too late in the evening (to name a few). But rather than focusing on the ‘don’ts’, here we look at the ‘dos’. Take a look at the infographic below to find out what you can do to get a good night's sleep.
Click to open a PDF version of Six steps to a sound night's sleep infographic (0.2MB)
Six steps to a sound night's sleep
These steps will help optimise your sleeping environment and provide you with some techniques to relax your body and mind so you can drift off with ease.
1. Think about how much sleep you need
Aiming to get seven to nine hours sleep each night is about the right amount. Work out when you need to be up in the morning, and therefore what time you should go to bed. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (including weekends and free days) to get into a good routine.
2. Dim the lights
Unnatural light in the evening interferes with your body’s ‘sleep hormone’ called melatonin. Reduce the effect lights have on your sleep by dimming all of them in the room at least two hours before you go to bed. This includes phones, tablets and laptops.
3. Set aside time to relax
Stress can affect sleep. Relax before bed to help you to wind down and put aside any stresses from your day. You could try a warm bath or some light reading.
4. Get your sleeping environment just right
Make sure your room is the right temperature for you and control any noise where you can. An eye mask and ear plugs can be a good investment.
5. Make sleep mindful
Get into bed and lie on your back, if this is comfortable for you. Rest your hands on your tummy and take a deep breath in. Feel your tummy rise as you inhale. Breathe in and out for four counts. Repeat 10 times.
6. Actively relax your body
Starting with the muscles in your toes, tense and then relax them. Work your way up your body, tensing and relaxing different muscle groups one after the other until you reach your forehead. Embrace all the tension in your muscles and then the relaxation the release brings to your body.