Tips to improve your sleep
Without good sleep, we tend to be irritable, unfocused and drained, which can have a knock-on effect on everything from our work to our relationships.
Although a good night’s sleep won’t rid you of life’s problems, it certainly helps our ability to cope with them, especially during these challenging times.
The amount of sleep you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, lifestyle, routine, and even your genes.
Here are some of our top tips to help you improve your sleep.
Regular exercise helps our bodies feel tired, as well as increases metabolism and fights stress and anxiety, all of which can help you get a better night’s sleep.
Have a night-time ritual
A good night-time routine will help prepare your body and mind for sleep. A good place to start is by turning off electronic devices at least an hour before bed, taking a shower or hot bath, listening to music or reading a book.
Don’t toss and turn
If you’ve gone to bed for the evening but sleep just isn’t coming, don’t force yourself to toss and turn. After 30 minutes if you’re still not asleep, try getting up and doing something else, like listening to music or reading a book. By taking the pressure off and focusing on something relaxing instead, you can unwind and return to bed when you feel tired.
Skip the lie-in
Going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time helps your body stay in a routine, so resist the urge for a long lie-in or a mid-day nap that will throw off your sleeping schedule.
Seek out help from the professionals
If you’re battling a bout of insomnia it can be tempting to use over-the-counter sleep aids to help you get some rest. Instead, speak to your doctor about your options and get for a telephone consultation as your first option.
Track your sleep
Smartwatches and step trackers often also have an in-built function that monitors your sleep. The advantage of this is you can see patterns over time – about when you fall asleep and wake up each night, how much rest you get on average, the quality of sleep you’re getting, and more. The right information could be just what you need to help identify what the problem is and start you on your way to solving it.
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Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a question of your own, their, "Ask the Expert" service allows you to ask the team of friendly, experienced nurses, pharmacists and midwives about any health topic and they'll get back to you with an answer as soon as they’re able.* So if you have something that’s been bothering you, whether it concerns you or someone close to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Click below to submit your query online.
* Nurses are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Midwives and pharmacists are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 8am to 4pm; and Sunday, 8am to 12pm.
Actual response time will depend on the nature of your enquiry and availability of appropriately qualified experts but the team will always aim to get back to you within 24 hours.
Please note that our Expert Help services are there to offer health information and support. They do not diagnose or prescribe, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice given in the context of an individual consultation.
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