Do you wake up tired? Here’s how to get better sleep and feel well rested when you open your eyes.
Do you wake up feeling exhausted? You’re not alone. One in three of us has a serious sleep problem, which plays a role in depression, weight gain and (yikes!) can even wreak havoc on our sex lives. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Try our easy tips on how to get better sleep every night.
- Say ‘NO’ to daytime napping. No matter how exhausted you are, keep your eyes open until bedtime. A full night’s sleep is better than a few snatched hours here and there.
- Anything other than sleep and sex should be banned from the bedroom. This way, you’ll train your brain to know what to expect when you climb into bed.
- Did you know that the effects of caffeine can last up to 24 hours? While we’re not saying you need to cut it out altogether (that would, after all, be crazy), try your best to limit your caffeine intake after 2pm. Switch to decaf if (like us) you can’t get through the afternoon without a hot cup of something.
- Regular exercise should help, but try to get your session in in the morning; exercising too close to bedtime can pump you full of endorphins, which will keep you awake.
- Establishing a regular sleep routine will get your body used to switching off, and waking up, every day, which might help regulate your sleep cycle.
- Eat lightly in the early evening, not close to when you go to bed. A full tummy can keep you up at night. Plus a light early-evening meal can help you shed a few kilos — winning.
- If you stay up thinking about all the things you didn’t cross off your list earlier in the day, write a worry list before nodding off. Knowing you’ve written it down, and will remember to tackle it tomorrow, will help you relax.
- Keep your bedroom dark and invest in great pillows and sheets. Comfort is key to better sleep.
- Try to stop using your tablet or phone (a tall order, we know) an hour before lights out. Studies have shown they may make us feel more alert, and make it more difficult for us to fall asleep.
- A hot milky drink before bed can help you relax. But try not to load it with sugar, which could keep you up.
Stress and anxiety are major causes of insomnia which in turn may lead to depression. If you suffer from insomnia, try our tips for better sleep, but if they don’t do the trick, consult a medical professional before it affects your life.
Different types of insomnia:
- Acute insomnia: periods of sleep difficulty lasting between one night and a few weeks.
- Chronic insomnia: sleep difficulty at least three nights a week for one month or more.
- Insomnia associated with psychiatric and medical disorders: Mood and anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric diagnoses associated with insomnia.
- Insomnia associated with medication and substance use: A variety of prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and drug abuse can lead to poor-quality sleep.
- Insomnia associated with specific sleep disorders: These include restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, sleep apnoea and circadian rhythm sleep disorders.