How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is something that we all want.

Do you get a good night’s sleep? Get up every morning feeling refreshed and ready to start the day?

Or, are you struggling to sleep and as a result wake each morning feeling worse than the day before?

A good night’s sleep sets us up for a productive day. It contributes to our concentration levels, ability to focus and decision making skills.

At the end of a busy and stressful day, we look forward to a good night’s rest. You would think that with the busyness of the day, that the ability to sleep would be simple. Sadly this is not always the case.

If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, then rest assured you are not alone. According to the NHS, a staggering one in three people suffers from poor sleep.

In a Sleep Survey conducted by Dreams in 2016 (a survey of 15,000 participants) only 8% of people woke up refreshed. A staggering 63.1% of people reported that they were not happy with the amount of sleep that they got.

Loughborough University’s clinical online global survey (also in 2016) agrees. In their survey 77% of the UK are not waking up refreshed each morning.

This article looks at the importance of sleep. It looks at the following:

  • Why some people have problems sleeping
  • Why it’s important to sleep well, and
  • How much sleep we should have

We will then look at night-time routines:

  • How having a night-time routine can impact our sleeping patterns positively
  • What’s good for you and what you should avoid and,
  • The benefits of making your bedroom a haven.

Why People Have Problems Sleeping

So why are so many people not getting a good night’s sleep?

Sometimes you go to bed and seem to fall asleep very quickly. Other times you can lie awake for hours. Or even worse, not get any sleep at all.

Basically our mind just keeps whirring and it’s difficult to quieten it down.

We run through the events that have happened during the day. Dissect different conversations that we’ve had or things that we’ve done. Once we’ve exhausted that, our brain then starts going over all the things that we need to get done.

This just adds to the stress and worry. How are we supposed to function the next day if we don’t get our 8 hours of sleep in?

Why It’s Important To Have A Good Night’s Sleep

Lack of sleep has both mental and physical implications.

Obesity, heart disease and diabetes are more common in those that do not sleep well. For more information on this have a look at the NHS website by clicking here.

It also affects our productivity. Concentration and our decision making skills are impacted. There is also a higher risk of accidents.

In 2016 Fortune Magazine wrote an article to say that lack of sleep costs the US $411 billion a year. Figures for the UK are not given but we Brits seem to sleep worse than anywhere else. The implication is that the effect on the British economy will also be high.

The impact to our well-being is high. And worryingly, so is the ability to keep our jobs and maintain our income.

How Much Sleep Should You Have?

There is no evidence to suggest the actual number of hours a person needs to get a good night’s sleep. It can vary from one person to another.

Standard advice is that we need 7 -9 hours of sleep a night.

New research says that it is okay to wake up in the middle of the night. In fact this might even be good for you. If you want to know more about this then I recommend that you check out nosleeplessnights.com . A great website on all things sleep related. If you struggle with sleep then definitely check it out.

Yet, the majority of research suggests that we need 8 hours sleep. This enables us to rejuvenate the body and provide the rest that we need.

As the amount of sleep that we need, varies between different people.

Having your own tailored night time routine can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Benefits of a Night-Time Routine

If you want to get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed, then a good night time routine can help.

Going to bed at the same time and having the same routine triggers the brain for sleep. You want to feel relaxed and ready for sleep by the time you get to bed so that falling asleep becomes easier.

Creating a Night-Time Routine

Getting into the habit of a good night-time routine can help you get a good night’s sleep. Here are a few suggestions.

Reduce Blue Screen Activity 1 – 2 hours before bed.

Blue screens hinder the production of melatonin. A hormone required for sleep. Avoid televisions, computers, mobiles or tablets.

Also, these activities can stimulate the brain which makes it harder to drop off to sleep

Checking emails can create worry. We stress about what needs to be done. When we’re stressed, we are less likely to sleep well.

Prepare the Following Day’s Action List

Knowing what you will be doing when you wake up takes away the worry of what you need to do the next day. You can sleep with the knowledge that you have your day planned. This also prevents procrastination.

Do Calming Activities

Creating a sense of peace and calm helps the mind and body unwind. Consider meditation, breathing exercises or even listening to some relaxing music.

Having a lukewarm shower or bath before bedtime can also help. A bit of pampering is good. Have a bath with soothing scents like lavender with scented candles for lighting. Avoid hot baths as the body will need to cool down before sleep.

Reading is also helpful. I would recommend reading from a physical book rather than an electronic device.

Writing in a journal can get all the thoughts out of your head. And, practicing gratitude helps you feel positive before going to sleep.

Adult colouring is also very popular. It’s good to focus on something that is not work related or linked to a set deadline.

Make Your Bedroom A Haven

Is your bedroom conducive to getting a good night’s sleep? Here are some pointers:

Keep the bed for sleeping in only (or having sex)

Don’t make your bedroom multi-functional. Remove televisions, laptops and electronics.

Temperature

Most people sleep best in a cool room. The best temperature is between 18 – 24°C

Sound

Peace and quiet helps when getting a good night’s sleep. If there are noises that disturb you consider investing in some good earplugs.

Darkness

A dark room also sets the scene for sleep. If your curtains let in any light, it might be an idea to invest in some blackout blinds.

Clean Bed Linen

Have fresh bed linen – change the sheets once a week. In a survey of 1,500 people , 85% slept better with comfortable sheets and bedding. 78% cited fresh smelling sheets as a big contributor to getting a good night’s sleep.

Clutter Free

Clutter is a distraction. Removing all non-essential items will contribute to a peaceful environment. Besides you don’t want to climb over piles of stuff to get into bed. Or worse, risk the danger of things falling on you whilst trying to sleep.

Conclusion

Reports inform us that 1/3rd of people suffer with a lack of sleep. Whilst 3/4 are not happy with the amount of sleep that they get.

Lack of sleep impacts your ability to perform well and be productive. But, it also has a serious impact on our physical health. Obesity, heart disease and diabetes are all connected to poor sleep.

By introducing the habit of a good night-time routine we can do a lot to help ourselves. Having a regular bed-time and doing relaxing activities before will help you get a good night’s sleep.

Making changes all at once can be quite daunting. Which of the suggestions are you ready to put in place to help you get a good night’s sleep? I would love to know.

Also, do you have any suggestions on how to get a good night’s sleep that I haven’t mentioned here? Comment in the box below, I’m always interested in what others have found helps them.

References:

https://www.sleepadvisor.org/sleep-statistics/

https://www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/sleep-survey-uk-2016/

https://www.lboro.ac.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2016/november/the-worlds-largest-ever-online-sleep-census-reveals-a-sleep-deprived-planet.html

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/why-lack-of-sleep-is-bad-for-your-health/

(https://fortune.com/2016/11/30/sleep-productivity-rand-corp-411-billion/)

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/NSF_Bedroom_Poll_Report.pdf

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About the author Alison

A qualified UK based coach with 30 years of experience in personal development.

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