.Almost two-thirds of people have difficulty sleeping, according to a recent survey. Stress is one of the commonest causes, but improving your sleep is an important stressbuster itself
Here are some tips for beating such problems and getting a good night’s sleep…
Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will train your body to sleep better by getting it into a regular rhythm.
• Keep A Pen And Paper By Your Bedside
Use them either to make a list before lights out of things that you need to tackle the next day, and/or to write down, and thus ‘dump’, worries that may be preventing you sleeping during the night.
• Avoid Excess Alcohol or Food
A small nightcap might help you wind down and actually get to sleep but alcohol is likely to interrupt your sleep later in the night. Even eating too much late at night can ruin your sleep patterns.
• Don’t Smoke
Yes, it’s bad for sleep, too. Nicotine is a stimulant and smokers take longer to fall asleep, wake more often and often experience more sleep disruption.
• Avoid Coffee And Tea – Especially In The Evening
Both are stimulants, which can interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Even the caffeine in fizzy drinks can harm sleep.
• Drink A Cup Of Herbal Tea
Unlike ‘ordinary’ (i.e. Indian) tea, it will relax rather than stimulate you.
• Eat Bananas vit B
These are good sources of vitamin B, which can help those sleep problems that are caused by adrenal stress. You can also buy a good vitamin B complex from a health shop and take it at bedtime.
• Make Love
Sex is nature’s best soporific. And, even if it doesn’t work, it’s a lot more fun than staying awake.
• Try To Relax Before Going To Bed
A warm bath – especially on cold, winter nights – will gently warm and relax you. A spot of yoga, deep breathing or listening to soothing music can also help relax both the mind and body.
• Use ‘Trigger Pictures’ To Relax You
Try to conjure mental images of a favourite or fantasy place or moment – such as, say, a great birthday party or idyllic holiday spot – as a way of triggering feelings of relaxation and well-being.
• Play Mind Games
– Imagine a room covered wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling with black velvet.
– Keep repeating ‘Slumber, slumber, slumber very slowly until you drop off.
• Don’t Just Lie There… Do Something
If you can’t sleep, don’t just lie there fretting about it. Get up and do something that you find relaxing – reading, watching TV or whatever – until you feel sleepy again. Then, when you start to feel tired, go back to bed.