To sleep well is the most important thing you will do today. If you doubt this, don’t do it and see how your body reacts.

Sleeping well is so important to our overall health yet it is something that many of us don’t give enough priority to.

If you cannot sleep or need help falling asleep read the sleep tips below to help you to sleep well every night.

Get some sunshine

sleep well 5 tips get some sunshine

Bright light is your friend – but only during the day.

An easy tip for sleeping well is to get some bright light, but only during the day. Your body clock needs resetting regularly, every day. Try and get at least two hours of sunshine or bright light on your face each day (please remember the sunscreen).

This is especially important during the winter when our natural levels of Vitamin D tend to be lower due to less exposure to the sun.

It’s been proven that two hours of sunshine/bright light throughout the day can actually increase your sleep by up to two hours a night. (Source: The US National Library of Medicine).

This simple tip is easy to implement and has an almost immediate effect.

Vitamin D

It’s been proven that two hours of sunshine/bright light throughout the day can actually increase your sleep by up to two hours a night. (Source: The US National Library of Medicine).

This simple tip is easy to implement and has an almost immediate effect.

Reduce exposure to blue light at night

sleep well 5 tips reduce exposure to blue light

Reduce screen time before bed

Your laptop, computer, smartphone, iPad all emit blue light from their screens. This is fine throughout the day but at night, this tricks your body clock and disrupts your sleep patterns. One of the worse things that you can do is work on your screen in bed just before trying to nod off for the night.

One way around this is to download F.Lux  This free (or you can donate) app automatically compensates for time and adjusts your screen output and diminishes your screens blue light output as the day wears on.

Another option is to buy a pair of blue light glasses. These filter out the blue light your eyes receive. I have never tried these personally so I don’t know if they change the visual effect of your screen. What I do know is that the eyes and brain have a great way of adapting very quickly to any changes so they might be worth looking into,

The other option is you can just be determined, grit your teeth and exert some self- discipline. You can draw a line in the sand and say “at 7pm I will turn off all screens”. But, let’s be honest, how many of us can, or will, do that.

Read more about our natural sleep cycle

Do you really need that afternoon coffee?

Sleep well 5 tips need coffee really

I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon. Ronald Regan

Coffee, its loved worldwide 90% of people in the western world consume it daily. Let’s face it, it’s a smash hit. Everyone seemingly loves it. But there is a dark side to drinking lots of coffee.

It’s well documented that caffeine enhances brain function, physical endurance in athletes and keeps you sharp and alert, particularly later in the day when energy levels start to fall. But it is mildly addictive, can cause agitation, irritability and sleeplessness. No wonder many of us don’t sleep well after consuming it.

The problem is that coffee has a half-life of six hours. That’s right, that coffee you drank to get over the 3 pm hump is still working away at 9 pm that night.

So if you are finding that you can’t go to sleep or perhaps you’re having a restless sleep, maybe you’re sensitive to caffeine.  A switch to de-caffeinated options after lunch might do the trick in helping you to sleep well. Coffee isn’t the only ‘pick me up’ that comes in a decaffeinated version. Tea and cola also have de-caf options. How about trying a decaf tea or coffee for your next afternoon break and avoid chocolate as it also contains caffeine. Well maybe just have one square….

A Cool Bedroom Helps

Sleep well 5 tips cool bedroom

Recent studies show that the temperature of your bedroom directly correlates with the quality and depth of your sleep.

So it seems that a cool room is important for a number of reasons.  If your room is too warm, say 22 degrees Celsius, then your sleep will be restless and broken, but if you sleep too cold, say -17 degrees Celsius you will still have restless and broken sleep though usually not as much as when you’re too warm. So the Goldilocks zone to sleep well is said to be between 17 to 21 degrees.

Another interesting study shows that if you can sleep at 17 degrees with only a light cover, you will lose approximately 2-5 kilograms over a twelve month period. Seems the body’s response is to burn energy to keep warm – hence the weight loss. Unfortunately, it is rare that someone can sleep like that regularly without developing circulation problems, etc. (only about 5% of us apparently).

Buy an Adjustable Bed

Sleep well 5 tips

An electric adjustable bed has a wide range of health benefits

In all honesty, an adjustable bed will definitely help you to sleep well. The issue is sleep quality. When you sleep on a flat bed, most of us sleep on our side, a few of us lay flat on our backs and even less sleep on our stomachs. This is because our spines are not flat so a flat-bed just doesn’t work for most us. I’m sure you’ve had those nights where you toss and turn all night. Many times you wake up feeling worse than when you went to bed.

When we sleep on our sides, where our spines are flat, our hips and shoulders take the weight. Many muscles are incorporated to hold that position so the rest of the body can recuperate. But, because of the effort required, the muscles eventually tire and the brain gets the signal to roll over. But here is the kicker; you have to wake up to roll over.

You usually won’t remember but the average person rolls over between 17-23 times a night!

After you wake up, roll over and adjust your sleeping position, you don’t just drop back into the deep sleep phase. You literally start the process of the sleep cycle all over again. This makes it very hard to achieve and maintain deep sleep, the most restorative sleep.

Over the years I’ve been told by many people that they can’t sleep on their back. It is possible but it takes a little perseverance. Imagine you are sleeping on your side. Now imagine that I froze your position, then rolled you onto your back and built the bed to fit you. That is exactly what an adjustable bed does. The design mimics your side sleeping but instead of all the weight in your shoulders and hips, it’s on your entire frame. With no pressure in any one specific position, you can get a feeling of floating, or Zero Gravity.

In this position, you rarely move all night, getting a much deeper, restorative sleep.

In Summary

Basically a good night’s sleep is not out of reach for most of us if we follow a few easy tips.

  • Get some exposure to bright light during the day
  • limit screen time for at least one hour before bed, preferably 2 – 3 hours. If this is not possible then try blue light glasses after dark
  • drink decaffeinated coffee, tea and soft drinks after lunch
  • keep your bedroom cooler, ideally between 17 – 21 degrees Celsius
  • and finally, invest in an adjustable bed

We often choose to diminish the importance of regular consistent sleep. But you only need to go without it for a day or two to understand how important it is to our overall health and well-being.

If, after trying all of these suggestions, you are still not getting a good, restful night’s sleep, then please see your doctor.