If you find that you’re constantly tired, then you may be going wrong somewhere. Are you drinking caffeine late in the day? Do you let your furry friends sleep in your bed? If the answers to both are yes, we may be onto something.
Here you can learn how to change your daily habits and routine to help you sleep better at night. It might be a struggle to adapt at first, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
If you’re sleeping in until lunchtime on the weekend and up at the crack of dawn during the week, then your body clock will be all over the place. While it’s nice to be able to go to sleep without setting an alarm on the weekend, going from one extreme to the other can really throw you off.
If you feel the need to have a lie in on the weekend then, by all means do – but only ever so slightly. If your alarm typically goes off at half 6 in the week, get up at half 7 on Saturday and Sunday. This way, you’ll be sleeping in an hour later than usual without having to hugely disrupt your sleep schedule.
A consistent sleep schedule will keep your body clock steady and, in turn, improve your quality of sleep.
2. Don’t Exercise Before Bed
If you like to go for a run after work, then you’ll be doing wonders for both the length and the quality of your sleep. Why? Well, cardio can help improve sleep quality and increase sleep duration, providing you do it often enough; a workout in a blue moon isn’t going to help you achieve great shuteye!
However, if you exercise within four hours of bed time, your body temperature will still be elevated. As a result, you’ll become more alert and feel more energised, which is the last thing you want to be feeling late at night. I’d recommend taking your gym kit to work and running home, so you can get to it as soon as you walk out of the office door.
3. Cut Out The Caffeine After 2pm
Yes, really. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that stays in your system for approximately eight hours, so if you drink it any later than 2pm, you’ll be up all night.
I used to love a cup of java late afternoon to help me get through the post-lunch slump; however, I’d be up until at least 1am, which really wasn’t ideal (I’m a mum to three energetic young boys). Now I drink a herbal tea or decaf coffee, which is just as comforting, and my sleeping pattern is much better for this.
Ditch the caffeine after 2pm and you’ll soon start to a notice a difference in your energy levels late at night. Instead of being wired, you’ll feel ready to enter the land of nod.
4. Ditch Your Furry Bed Mates
Of course, you’ll want your feline friend or pet pooch to sleep at the foot of your bed, but this shouldn’t be at the cost of a good night’s sleep. If your dog barks in the night, perhaps because he or she has heard the neighbours, or your cat wakes you up by purring or jumping over you, you need to keep them out.
While they might not disturb you every night, it’ll be enough to make you feel as though you’ve barely slept a wink. Keep your furry friends out of your bedroom and you’ll have a much better rest. However, at first, you’ll need to persevere with the whimpering and meowing! They won’t like it, but they’ll have to get used to it if you want to sleep better at night.
Collaborative Post – About the Author
Joy Richards is the sleep specialist at Happy Beds – the UK’s leading bed and mattress store. Joy runs The Comfort Zone, the company’s news hub, which helps customers to sleep better and find the comfiest bed, be it a practical divan bed or a children’s cabin bed. You can get in touch with Joy by tweeting @HappyBedsUK.