6 Bedtime Habits To Help Send You Off To Sleep

Sleep is key to our physical health but is also vital to our emotional wellness and mental health, helping to beat stress, anxiety and depression.

Here are some steps you can take to improve your sleep.

1.Keep electronics out of your bedroom

Research suggests that the blue light from electronics such as tablets, laptops and smartphones can suppress melatonin, the essential hormone for sleep.  

Enough of the scientific lingo, keeping your smartphones and tablets away from your bedroom well help you fall asleep earlier as you won’t be endlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed or watching ‘just one more episode’ on Netflix.

2. Don’t connect your bed and waking up in the night

If you find yourself awake for long periods of time during the night, it’s really important that you take yourself away from bedroom.  

Why is this important? Many people develop a connection between their bed and being awake all night which leads to further poor sleep. Removing yourself from your bedroom when these negative feelings occur can help break that connection.  

3. Make the most of your daily exercise

Exercise is fantastic for your sleep in several ways. Making time to exercise can… 

Improve sleep quality. Exercise contributes heavily when it comes to a more sound and restful sleep, increasing the amount of time you spend in the critical deep sleep phase.  

Deep sleep does amazing things for your body including helping with your immune function, supporting cardiac health and controlling stress and anxiety.  

Increase sleep amounts. Not only does exercise improve the quality of sleep, but it can also increase the duration of your sleep too due to the amount of energy that has been expended.   

Research shows that regular exercise that’s part of a consistent routine, can boost both sleep duration and sleep quality.  

Reduce Stress and Anxiety. Exercise is a well-known remedy for anxiety and other mood disorders. Mind-body exercises like yoga, pilates and stretching can help quiet the mind and relax your body ready for you to fall asleep. 

It’s been shown that yoga, pilates and stretching can help lower cortisol levels, reduce blood pressure, as well as having a big effect on your mood. 

4. Remember to breathe

If you feel stressed and on edge, try to take a step back and focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly for 10 then breathe out for 10 and repeat until you start to feel the tension slip away. 

Why not give meditation a try? There are many free apps such a Calm and Headspace which have a wealth of meditation sessions specifically designed to help you drift off to sleep. 

5. Check your pre-sleep diet

As humans, we are not designed to digest and sleep at the same time.  

We understand life can be hectic, but it’s important to eat a heavy meal early in the night or stick to lighter foods when eating later on. 

If you’re feeling a tad peckish before bedtime, we’ve listed some example of foods that can promote sleep by helping optimise the release of melatonin. These include: 

  • Turkey  
  • Marmite  
  • Almonds  
  • Oatcakes  
  • Bananas  

6. And your beverages

It’s widely known that consuming caffeine late at night can have a negative effect on your night’s sleep, but did you know that alcohol can also disturb your sleep? 

That nightcap might seem like a good idea and make you feel sleepy at bedtime, but in fact it’ll make the second half of your night more disturbed and less restful.  

This doesn’t mean you have to cut out alcohol completely, just make sure you have that glass of wine early enough so it’s out of your system by the time you hit the hay. Here are a few examples of drinks that can improve your sleep. 

  • Warm Milk  
  • Almond Milk 
  • Green Tea  
  • Herbal Tea