routine, routine, routine
Try and stick to the same sleep pattern each day, meaning going to bed around the same time and waking up around the same time too. Setting your body's internal clock using this method will optimise the quality of your sleep. A good way to test your routine is seeing if you wake up naturally at the appropriate time or need an alarm - if you need an alarm, you may need to start going to sleep earlier.
Avoid sleeping in - even on weekends
Following on from the previous point is trying not to sleep in - sounds horrid, we know, but this can throw out your sleep routine, making it difficult to find that optimum sleep routine again.
Exposure to light
Your exposure to light during the day and at night can have a major impact on your quality of sleep. Spending as much time in natural light during the day will help to keep the body awake, meaning when it comes time to sleeping, it is pivotal to avoid bright lights and make sure the room is dark. This set up helps your body to distinguish between time to be awake and time to sleep, making your sleep that bit better in terms of quality.
Be smart about exercise
Exercising is a great tool for many elements of health - including sleep! Exercising during the day helps speed up metabolism and releases cortisol, but exercise within 3 hours of trying to go to sleep can confuse the body, meaning your sleep is disturbed. Light exercises that are focused on relaxation are best in the evenings such as yoga.
EAT RIGHT = SLEEP RIGHT
It is proven that caffeine and sugar too close to bedtime can keep you awake and disturb your sleeping pattern. Other elements of your eating could also be affecting your sleep such as enjoying a large meal close to when you want to go to sleep as this can upset your stomach, which in turn can interrupt your sleep.
RELAXATION IS KEY
Relaxing before you go to sleep is essential to making sure you get a quality nights sleep. This can take practice and relies on being in the right mind-set. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and mental focus
on calming images or thoughts can go a long way in helping your mind to wind down, ready for a quality sleep.
AVOID ELECTRICAL ITEMS
Most of us are constantly using some kind of electrical gadget whether it be a mobile phone. TV or desktop computer. As great as these gadgets are, they are doing nothing for your sleep! The blue-ish lights in
the screen have been found to wake the brain up making it more difficult to go to sleep in the first place. Limit exposure to these devices before going to bed, instead, read a book or get a relaxing bath. Try and avoid anything too mentally strenuous and anything that involves bright lights.
If you're a 'worrier' i.e. run over and over all of the tasks you have yet to do or worry about impending situations, writing these down can help. Externalising these worries can help you relax and avoid
the constant turning over of your mind.