Some people find it difficult to switch off during the evening. They lie in bed for, what may seem, eternity before falling into deep sleep. Listed below are some tips, from the book The Off Switch by Professor Mark Cropley, to help you achieve a good night’s sleep.

  1. REGULAR BEDTIME ROUTINES
    Develop a consistent sleep and wake time. Don’t be too rigid. Your body will adapt and will start to prepare itself for sleep. Try not to sleep in too late at the weekend as this may break your routine and Monday mornings will feel like “Monday mornings”.
  2. AVOID LATE EVENING DISTRACTIONS
    Don’t work too late. Counterintuitively, people who are forced to leave work on time are more productive during their working hours compared to those who stay late.
    Don’t exercise to late.
    Don’t eat a large meal before your bedtime.
  3. DON’T SKIP LUNCH
    If you have back-to-back meeting be prepared with healthy snacks and drink plenty of water. Your body needs the fuel to keep up with the days demands. It also helps to take small 5 minute breaks every hour.
  4. LIMIT CAFFEINE INTAKE
    Caffeine is a stimulant and can lead to poor sleep quality. Avoid ingesting caffeine products in the late evening. This may include products you are not aware of such as tea, chocolate and cola.
    You may consider yourself one of those lucky people who can drink coffee all day and night and still sleep well. However, this may be because your body has become addicted to caffeine.
  5. DIM LIGHTS 30 MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME
    Dimming the lights or using a warm light globe instead of a cold blue light globe will train your brain that you are going to sleep. Light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin. Melatonin increases subjective sleepiness and decreases core body temperature.
    Avoid using your smartphone or tablet an hour before bedtime. The backlight will also suppress melatonin and the information will stimulate brainwaves and make it difficult to fall asleep.
  6. IDEAL BEDROOM ENVIRONMENT
    The ideal sleeping temperature is 17 degrees Celcius.
    Sleep in a dark, quiet room.
    Use a comfortable bed, matress, pillow, duvet or sheets.
    Ideal, don’t allow any electronic equipment in the bedroom.
    Turn alarm clocks around so you can’t see the display.

    7. AVOID THE SNOOZE BUTTON
    Have you ever felt better after you’ve snoozed for an additional five minutes or longer? The extra 5 minutes isn’t actually doing you any good. You may even feel more sluggish. Shun the temptation to hit the snooze button and set an alarm later to reclaim these valuable minutes sleeping.

What helpful sleeping habits do you use?

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