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Sleep. Everyone knows the importance of it. Or at least we think we do. If we all knew how vital it is to our health, then why are we not getting enough? There are numerous factors which could be hindering a good night’s sleep.

Here are 5 tips as to how we can improve our sleep.

1. Know the true value of sleep

First things first, to get a good night’s sleep you should know and appreciate the true value of sleep. The amount and quality of our sleep determines how productive our day will be. Adults should aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night – anything less than this is deemed to be not enough. Being consistent with when you are going to sleep and when you are waking up are vital factors. Once you conquer this, you’re already one step closer to regulating your sleep pattern. 

WHAT CAN I DO?

Try falling asleep at the same time every night. This doesn’t need to be consistent to the minute, as long as within 30 minutes. To help with this, try winding down with a book for 30 minutes or so every night as this relaxes the mind.

2. No screens before bed

Switching off our screened devices before bed is one of the most important factors for getting to sleep at a good time. Screened devices – such as mobile phones, laptops, TV’s – trick your brain into thinking it is still daylight.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Switch off any screened devices about 2 hours before you go to bed. If this isn’t possible, try wearing some blue light blocking glasses or download an app that blocks any blue light on devices.

3. Caffeine curfew

Caffeine products – such as coffee, energy drinks, fizzy drinks, and even dark chocolate – can stay in the body for as long as 6 – 8 hours after consumption. This does, however, depend on how sensitive you are.

WHAT CAN I DO?

If you drink a lot of caffeine products throughout the day, try gradually decreasing your intake. If this doesn’t prove to be effective, try swapping to decaffeinated products

4. Stay cool in the bedroom

Another vital factor is maintaining a cool temperature in the bedroom. If you are slightly warmer than you normally would be during the night, then you may find it more difficult to fall asleep as your body is trying to reset its internal thermostat. Studies have found that the optimum temperature to fall asleep in is roughly 20°. However, everyone’s core temperature will differ – so play around with this temperature.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Taking a warm bath 1.5 to 2 hours prior going to bed can help increase your body temperature whilst in the bath then once you are out your body temperature will fall accordingly.

5. Get into position

Many of us may think that it doesn’t matter what position we sleep in. Wrong. Our sleep position can affect our hearts function, blood pressure, oxygen supply, blood flow to the brain, and muscular healing. Most of us will have a preferred sleep position – whether this is on your back, star fished out, or curled up in a ball. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, it might be due to your sleep position. Try falling asleep in a different position and see how this compares to your usual position.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Start off in your preferred sleep position. If you randomly wake up during the night and you have changed positions, simply move back into the preferred position.

Our body really is quite amazing – and we should treat it with respect. So, if you are struggling with getting to sleep or even getting a good night sleep, try to remember these 5 simple tips.

What we can do at SB Sports Massage & Rehabilitation?

If you are finding that your lack of sleep is impacting on your physical health, with things such as muscle pains, restricted movement or acute pain, then contact us via the details found on our contact page. We will be able to offer you some advise on self management techniques, exercises or stretches, that can help your day to day symptoms.

Find our previous blog here.

By Rachael Harris Bsc Msc