12 ways to get a good night’s sleep

Suzy Glaskie is an Altrincham-based functional medicine certified health coach

Suzy Glaskie is an Altrincham-based functional medicine certified health coach - Credit: Archant

Advice on ways to avoid staying awake at bedtime

By Cheshire-based health coach Suzy Glaskie

The good news is that by making just a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle and bedtime routine, you can boost your chances of getting a better night’s shut-eye. Most of us fail to prepare for sleep in the way we need – remember as children, it was, ‘bath, book, bed’”? Well, working or scrolling right up until we switch out the light means that we’re trying to fall asleep when our mind is in a state of stimulation and our body is still in stress response mode. We actively need to prepare for sleep by giving our mind and body the signal that it’s safe to switch off now.

Here are some tips to help you get the restorative sleep we crave: 

1. Try a 10-minute meditation or breathing practice as a bridge between your busy day and sleep. (I like the Calm app.)

2. A gratitude practice is a lovely and very effective way to switch off from the stresses of the day and encourage better sleep: simply keep a notebook next to your bed and write down three things that you’re grateful for from that day.

3. Consider taking a magnesium supplement, a powerful relaxation mineral, before going to bed. Or have a hot bath and add magnesium-rich Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender oil.

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4. Make sure your room is completely dark, free of clutter, and cool (around 18 degrees). If you don’t have black-out curtains, buy yourself a sleep mask and see what a difference it makes. Try using earplugs or a white noise machine to block out disruptive sounds.

5. Try to choose a wake-up time you can stick to within an hour, every day of the week (even on the weekends). This really does make a difference as it supports your body’s natural rhythms.

6. Expose your eyes to daylight in the morning. This supports your circadian rhythm (your body’s 24-hour body clock), so encouraging a better night’s sleep.

7. Avoid screen time for an hour before going to bed. If you have to look at a screen, buy yourself some special amber light glasses to screen out the blue light.

8. Charge your phone or tablet outside of your bedroom (if you’re telling yourself you need your phone to wake you up, invest in an alarm clock).

9. Finish dinner at least two hours before you intend to go to bed.

10. Leave a three-hour gap between exercising and lights out.

11. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon/evening. Keep an eye on the alcohol too.

12. Avoid sugary snacks – they’ll raise your blood sugar, making it harder to fall asleep.

Suzy Glaskie is an Altrincham-based functional medicine certified health coach, founder of Peppermint Wellness, here and host of the Wellness Unwrapped podcast.

For more tips on getting better sleep, check out this episode of Wellness Unwrapped:here ,