The majority of people have at some point experienced difficulty in getting a good night’s sleep. A variety of factors can impede your sleep from uneven sleep patterns to excessive light getting into the room through ill-fitting window coverings. A great night’s sleep is important as it can affect many factors in your day-to-day life, such as concentration levels, mood and even health. Although it may sometimes feel elusive, following some simple steps can really encourage good quality sleep. As such, this article will look at 5 top tips for a better night’s sleep.
1) Stick to a sleep schedule
If you have consistent sleeping patterns, i.e. steady bedtimes and waking times, this will help your body to set a sleep/wake cycle. Once a sleep/wake cycle has been established, your body will come to expect sleep and wakefulness at specific times and this should promote a better and more consistent night’s sleep. When working out your sleep/wake cycle, bear in mind adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but this can fluctuate from person to person.
2) Darken your room with blackout blinds
The environment you sleep in can really affect the quality of your sleep. You should aim for your room to be somewhat cool and as dark as possible, as light is a strong cue for our bodies to be wakeful. If your window coverings are ill-fitting or too thin, excess light could be negatively impacting your sleep. Blackout blinds or curtains are a great way to achieve a dark, sleep inducing environment. Blackout blinds are especially useful if streetlights shine into your room, if you do shift work and sleep during daylight hours, or in a child’s room as their bedtime will likely be when it’s still somewhat light outside. For further benefits of blackout blinds, please take a look at our last blog post.
3) Try creating a bedtime ritual
Relaxing activities that you routinely carry out before bed can ease the shift from wakefulness to sleep and act as a cue for your body to expect sleep soon. Calming activities could include reading, listening to music or taking a warm bath. Try and avoid activities that include screens as the light emitted can promote wakefulness. If you wish to take this further, you can turn off devices or keep items that decrease ease of sleep out of your bedroom – this may include mobile phones, TV, computers and work.
4) Be aware of what you eat and drink
Food and drink can affect your body’s balance and comfort levels. For example, eating too close to bedtime (less than 2-3 hours) or, equally, going to bed hungry may make you feel discomfort which will make it harder to sleep.
Other things to avoid near bedtime are caffeine and nicotine. Both of these are stimulants and can, therefore, decrease the ease of falling asleep.
5) Exercise during the day
Exercising is a well-established way to improve your sleep. Exercise can result in a variety of sleep-related benefits, such as falling asleep quicker and getting a sounder sleep. Any exercise is beneficial but more vigorous activities will have greater benefits. However, exercising should not occur too soon before attempted sleep as this can result in you being too energised to drift off easily.
Following these tips can get you on your way to a great night’s sleep. If you wish to take positive action to aid your sleep through installing blackout blinds, UK Blinds Direct can provide you with a wide selection of blinds to choose from, as well as a high quality, tailored finish. Simply get in touch with our expert team today to find out more about our range – we are always happy to help.