This little ritual can cost you precious minutes of sleep and even cause undue stress. With that in mind, we consulted sleep guru and founder of Sleep With Me, a one-of-a-kind bedtime story podcast, Drew Ackerman, about different ways to encourage the arrival of sleep sooner.
1. Switch Off and reconnect with light
“Having a dark room is conducive to sleep, and avoid using your phone or tablet before bed. Try to expose yourself to the sun as soon as you wake up, that might be opening up your curtains or going for a morning walk or having a cup of coffee outside.”
2. Have a plan
“Good, deep, sleep doesn’t just happen by accident; you need to work at it and follow a plan that works specifically for you,” says Drew.
“Aim to go to bed at the same time every night, and repeat the same pattern of actions before bed each night. This will help train your mind to recognise that you’re getting ‘bed ready’.”
Drew also suggestions journaling or writing down things you are thankful for before going to bed, or if you suffer from an over-active mind, write a to-do list before hitting the pillow.
3. Eat ‘sleep promoting’ foods
“What you eat during the day can directly affect your sleep cycle at night. Research suggests that food such as nuts, turkey, kiwi fruit, tart cherry juice and fatty fish – such as salmon – can promote high-quality sleep,” says Drew. “Consider integrating these foods into your evening meals, and try to avoid drinking coffee after lunchtime. Instead, opt for a cup of calming chamomile tea which has historically been used for its sedative and calming effects.”
4. Try natural medicine
“Clinical research has found that Flordis ReDormin Forte, which contains a combination of extracts of valerian and hops, can help provide relief from sleep problems and waking during the night,” says Drew. Consult your GP for more information.
5. Listen to a podcast
“If you’ve ever used relaxing music to help you nod off, a podcast may also be just as useful. Choose a podcast that doesn’t require too much brain power, and let the slow, monotonous tone, lull you off to sleep.”
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