We often hear of the benefits of getting a great night’s sleep and how we should be sleeping between 7-9 hours each night but in reality things are that easy are they? A couple of years ago I was really trying to work on my sleep pattern as I was only getting between 4-6 hours per night, and it was rarely high quality sleep. My roomie at the time Bogoljub Karic was a great help with this and encouraged me to get a nightly routine together, rather than taking melatonin to get me to sleep. Over the years I have really nailed this routine and I sleep like a baby most nights. Here is how I do it each night, if you have trouble sleeping, give it a try.
The first thing that I am conscious of is what I eat and drink in the lead up to me sleeping, I aim to go to sleep at 10pm each night so that gives me an idea of how to manage things. I won’t even touch caffeine after 3pm, you could potentially drink it up until 4 hours before sleeping but I prefer not to run any risks. In terms of food I’ll eat my last meal around 6pm, remember that food is energy and we don’t need energy when sleeping.
I begin to wind down for bed at 8pm, at that time I will not touch my phone again, watch TV or open my laptop. The reason for this is that the high resolution of gadget screens cause your brain to wake up and be alert, not exactly what we need when we are trying to get a good night’s sleep. At 8pm I will go for a wash and put some skin cream on, before sitting in the chair and reading a book for an hour or so. I always aim to read fiction as non-fiction I find really wakes my brain up and gets the cogs turning. The only thing which I’ll drink between 8pm and 10pm is water.
I’ll generally go to bed around 940pm, sometimes I will drift off straight away as reading often does that to me, alternatively I will simply lay there for a little while, without any kind of distraction, before closing my eyes and drifting off. In the past I had issues with this, I would close my eyes and nothing would happen, or I would toss and turn for hours. The reason for this was because I was using my phone late into the night, listening to music or the radio before bed, all things which woke my brain up and prevented me from sleeping. Make sure that your room is pitch black when you go to bed, even if that means investing in new curtains like I had to.
If you follow these simple tips I can assure you that not only will you fall asleep quicker, but you will also get better sleep throughout the night.