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When you're tossing and turning at night, a good night's sleep can seem like a distant dream. Unfortunately, it's often the case that the harder you try to fall asleep, the wider awake you feel. If you're one of the many people who have been struggling with falling or staying asleep for some time, this can be a major source of stress and upset.
Lack of sleep can also have serious effects on your mood and overall physical health. Luckily, there are some easy tips and tricks you can try to start improving the length and quality of your sleep starting from tonight. Let's take a look at some simple measures to get more sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Caffeine in particular, has a well-deserved reputation for keeping you awake at night. If you're struggling to fall asleep, it's best to avoid caffeine altogether for at least 6 hours before you go to bed. Don't forget foods and drinks with 'unexpected' caffeine- foods such as chocolate contain enough to keep some people wide awake.
Whilst many people believe that alcohol helps them nod off quicker, you're more likely to wake in the night. This may be down to the effects of the alcohol on your system or the need to get up and empty your bladder. Sticking to healthy drinking guidelines will'help to keep alcohol-related sleeplessness at bay.
Nowadays, people are spending more and more time staring at screens. You may even have developed the habit of lying in bed scrolling through your phone before going to sleep. This is a recipe for sleeplessness because the blue light from the screen can interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep. So, it's a good idea to stay away from devices for a couple of hours before bedtime. Try a relaxing activity that doesn't involve a screen during this time, such as reading a book or a bedtime yoga routine.
If you're using your bed for watching TV, reading or even working in, your brain will no longer associate bed with going to sleep. Therefore, it's a sensible idea to only get into bed when it's time to nod off. Any other activity should be done somewhere that's not your bedroom. While this isn't a quick fix, over time getting into bed will signal to your brain that it's time to go to sleep, helping you to drift off sooner.
Anyone that's struggled to nod off at night will know that the harder you try, the more elusive sleep becomes.