Healthy sleep is really important for our mental and physical wellbeing. Lots of people struggle to
fall asleep and stay asleep, which can ultimately lead to sleep deprivation, but can also cause
mental and physical problems during the day.
There are plenty of ways you could improve your sleep quality. First, start by trying to identify what
causes poor sleep, then consider how you can minimise these factors.
‘Sleep hygiene’ is the way that we prepare ourselves for sleep throughout the day. This could
involve adjusting our habits, and there are steps you build into your routine that allow the body to
Here’s some tips:
- Set a consistent sleep schedule: going to bed and waking up at approximately the same
time every day. This sets the body’s internal clock to expect to rest at certain times.
- Create a relaxing (pre) bedtime routine: have a bath, read a book, listen to calming
music, or meditate. Doing a relaxing activity up to an hour before sleep enables a smooth
transition into sleep.
- Dim the lights: getting enough natural light during the day is important for a healthy sleepwake cycle. Bright light from lamps and electronic can interfere with this, making it harder
to sleep. Blue light from your laptop or phone interferes with melatonin levels: this is the sleep hormone.
- Unplug an hour before bed: sleep with your phone out of reach if you can.
- Try not to consume stimulants late in the day: try to avoid food and drinks that contain
caffeine at least 6 hours before sleep.
- Avoid foods that can disturb sleep: citrus fruits, spicy food, fatty/fried food, and heavy
- Regular exercise: a regular exercise routine contributes to good quality sleep.
- Limit the use of your bed: reserve your bed specifically for sleep.
- Try getting out of bed and going to another room if you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes.
- Limit or avoid naps during the day: If you must nap, it’s best before 3pm.