Handy Tips to Help You Drift Off

For the majority of us, we all have problems sleeping now and again.

The real problem is when it becomes persistent and frustrating.

The warning signs may be prolonged feelings of stress, recurring headaches, feeling unable to concentrate or engage fully with social or work engagements.

Sleep issues can be wide ranging. These may include:

  • Waking up too early (and not being able to get back to sleep)
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Fidgeting and restlessness in sleep

Individually we all have different sleeping patterns, sometimes due to our cultural backgrounds or job commitments (shift rotas or religious beliefs).

So understanding yours can be really helpful in order to maintain your wellbeing.

Tips

Clothing

For some this may mean putting on pyjamas, your onesie or your favourite slacks. Whatever makes you comfortable, do this.

Food and fluids

You can struggle to fall asleep if you are 'too' anything. Too full from a late snack or too full from late nigth cups of tea. Equally you can also struggle if you are hungry or thirsty. Try keeping a glass of water by your bed for those little sips when you wake with a dry mouth. You may find a light snack (e.g. toast) can also mean you can concentrate on getting to sleep without those unwanted hunger pangs. Milk, rice, cereals, cheese, yoghurt, honey and eggs are all good for aiding sleep.

No distractions

Put your smartphone to one side. Turn off the WI-FI so you don't get woken with push notifications. Put your phone on silent if you feel this works for you. Consider switching it off completely if you don't need it for the alarm or to be contacted.

Free your mind

Put those lingering thoughts to bed. Write the 'to do' list on notepaper or your smartphone widget. 

Arrange your room

Your sleeping environment is essential. If you live in your room try and take a break from it just before bed. Where possible, arrange your bed view so that you don't get distracted or sidetracked. This may include moving the TV, tidying-up loose papers/books, blocking out any eerie shadows and closing any windows firmly shut.

 Further information

Site Information Provider
How to fall asleep NHS Choices
10 tips to beat insomnia NHS Choices
Sleep Matters - Full Report Mental Health Foundation
Sleep Profiler BBC Science