Struggling to get to sleep is by no means an uncommon problem. In fact, a 2017 report by Mintel’s Sleep Aids UK found that half (50%) of all Brits say they typically struggle to sleep. Whilst sleep requirements vary from person to person, it is recommended that we get around 7 to 9 hours sleep each night. Lack of sleep can cause a range of different problems, from obvious symptoms such as fatigue, to irritability, a depressed mood, forgetfulness and an increased appetite to compensate for our low energy levels. However, if you often struggle to sleep, there are a number of things you can do to unwind before bed.

Take Some “You” Time

Concerns about work, school, health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. As such, it is really vital to ensure you take some “you” time when you come home, as a way of destressing and mitigating any anxieties. For some people, taking time to paint, bake or exercise might help them to unwind. For others, playing video games, playing online bingo sites, or watching a good Netflix series might do the trick instead. Everyone is different, so find a hobby or activity you can enjoy after a long day at work or school to help calm you down.

Write “To Do” Lists

If you are especially stressed out and have a lot on your mind, try writing down a to do list. This is a brilliant way to help organise your thoughts and can help you to feel less overwhelmed and anxious.

Make Your Bedroom Sleep Friendly

In order to get a good night’s sleep, it is important that your bedroom is a calming, relaxed environment. Sleep experts believe that there is a strong link in people’s minds between sleep and the bedroom itself, but there are certain things which weaken the link, such as electronic screens, bright light, noise and an uncomfortable mattress. Doing exercises in your bedroom in is particularly known to break the sleep/bedroom link, so try to keep your bedroom just for sleeping rather than a range of different activities.

It is also important that your bedroom is dark, quiet, tidy and kept at a comfortable temperature, between 18C and 24C. As such, make sure you have good quality, thick curtains to block out natural light, wear earplugs if you live in a noisy area, and try to maintain your bedroom as a reasonably clean and tidy space.

Enjoy A Warm Bath

Taking a warm (but not hot) bath will help your body to reach a temperature which is ideal for rest. Lavender oil, and bath products that contain lavender essence, are also known for being particularly smoothing and calming, so try adding a splash of something into the tub.

Avoid Screen Time Directly Before Trying to Sleep

Using phones and other electronic devices directly before bed has become a real problem with many of us. Using any sort of electronic device even an hour before bed can have a negative effect on sleep, due to the light that these devices give off. Be sure to put your phone or device away in a drawer, or another safe place out of reach, at least sixty minutes before you plan to go to sleep.

Try Not to Look at Your Clock During the Night

It is fairly normal to wake up during the night. However, not being able to fall back asleep again can of course completely ruin a good night’s rest. A common habit with those who suffer from insomnia is “clock watching”, which can make you feel even more stressed and thus even more restless. To make matters worse, if you wake up in the middle of night on a regular basis without falling back asleep again, your body can end up establishing a routine. This means you might end up waking in the middle of the night every night. As such it is sensible, if you can, to put your clock just outside your bedroom door rather than having it right beside you. This will stop you from “clock watching”, but you should still hear your alarm go off in the morning.

Avoid Naps During the Day

Some studies have found evidence to suggest that regularly napping during the day night can lead to lower nighttime sleep quality and sleep deprivation overall. So, if you want to sleep well at night, definitely try to avoid taking naps.



Getting to sleep can be a real challenge, so taking the time to unwind and following these tips should hopefully make things a little easier for you next time around.


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