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Tips for improving sleep

Updated: Mar 16

We can all struggle with our sleep sometimes. The following tips may seem very easy and simple, but research tells us those who struggle with sleep don’t tend to apply these techniques.


Going to bed and getting up Go to bed and get up at the same time each day


Avoid napping Try to avoid if possible as this may disturb your sleep later on. But if you have to have a nap then aim for no longer than 20 minutes


Only go to bed when feeling sleepy If we're wide awake then this can lead to nights spent tossing and turning in bed trying to get to sleep


Exercise This helps to promote tiredness later on in the day but be mindful not to do this too close to bedtime


Limit stimulating activities before bed Such as watching TV or scrolling on your phone (light from screens can interrupt the production of hormones that help to promote sleep)


Bedtime routine We tend to get babies into a really good routine when we're preparing them for sleep. So they start to associate their bath or story with bedtime. But as adults we don't tend to be very good at unwinding from the stressors of the day before going to bed. Try relaxing with something like a bath or reading


Avoid stimulants

Avoid caffeine/nicotine 6 hours before bed


Alcohol This is a depressant which can aid sleep initially but can lead to disrupted sleep (withdrawal symptoms or dehydration) so try to avoid


Hunger If we're hungry this will interrupt sleep. But be mindful we're not eating a big meal just before we're going to bed as our body will have to digest that when we're trying to get to sleep


Environment Consider if your bed and the atmosphere is comfortable (in terms of noise, light and temperature). It may be worth investing in black out curtains or White Noise sleep aids


Worrying Try writing your worries down on a notepad next to your bed. That way you're not dismissing them but you can postpone these worries until another time


Get up if you can’t sleep If you haven’t slept for approx. 25 minutes then go into another room and engage in a relaxing activity. Then only return to bed when you’re feeling sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary. We want to associate the bedroom with a place of rest, not a place where we get frustrated with sleepless nights


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