Do you toss and turn, trying to get to sleep? Or maybe you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep?
Getting enough quality sleep is critical for wellbeing. So if you’re finding yourself feeling exhausted in the morning, there are a few easy ways to improve your sleep.
Watch your caffeine intake
Are you having more than 2 cups of coffee per day? Or perhaps you’re reaching for a coffee or tea when the 3pm slump hits? If so, you could be setting yourself up for a poor night of rest.
Caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours. So if you have a coffee or tea at 3pm, half of the caffeine is still in your system around 8-9pm. This can mean you don’t feel sleepy enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour. You stay up later, then the next day you’re exhausted – it becomes a vicious cycle.
Keep your caffeine consumption for the morning. If you’re particularly sensitive, you may need to cut it off even earlier.
Unwind in the evening
When you arrive home from work or your errands, you might stop running around physically. But your mind often continues at a million miles per hour thinking about what you need to do and what you didn’t get done during the day.
For a good rest, we want to calm down your nervous system and give it a clear signal that it’s nearly time to sleep. A simple way to do this is with a night routine that helps you to unwind.
This routine can incorporate a variety of calming activities. It can be as little as 15 minutes or up to 1-2 hours. For example, you could:
Stick to the routine as many nights of the week as possible. With time, your body will learn the signs that it’s nearly bedtime and induce sleepiness naturally.
Skip seconds at dinnertime
Eating a large amount of food right before you head off to bed can impair your sleep. This is particularly problematic if you have digestive issues such as reflux, IBS or bloating and gas.
So try to skip going back for a second plate or bowl of dinner. Instead, stick to a smaller portion, and give yourself plenty of time to digest it. If you do have to eat a late meal, aim for a portion the size of a large snack rather than a full meal.
Still hungry? Have a big glass of water and something small and easy to digest such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
Design your bedroom for rest
Your bedroom is like a sanctuary for sleep. So you want to make sure that the environment is designed to support a deep rest. Temperature, light and screens can all affect your sleep.
The bedroom should be cool and dark – around 16-18 degrees. Turn off or cover any sources of light such as phone chargers and power points. If your bedroom window is next to a streetlight, it’s worth investing in block-out curtains.
Put your phone and devices away
Phones, laptops, tablets and other devices all have their place. But right before bed is not the time to be using them!
Screens give off a blue light that trick your brain into thinking it’s the middle of the day. This can affect the production of the main sleep hormone, melatonin.
Put the devices away at least 30-60 minutes before it’s time for bed. If you need to use them for work or study purposes in the evening, look for an app or program that blocks blue light at night time.
Find the cause of your poor sleep
Many health issues and conditions can influence how well you sleep. Gut health, thyroid health, mental health and hormonal changes such as menopause can all play a role in your sleep quantity and quality. There are even medications that can have a negative effect on sleep.
If you have a recent diagnosis or have started a new medication, it’s worth considering if they are contributing to sleep issues. Or if you are unable to improve your sleep, you might want to work with a health professional to uncover potential underlying causes.
Are you tired of feeling tired all the time? The team at Burnett House is here to support you.
Our acupuncturist Jamie offers acupuncture to help with contributing factors such as pain, fatigue and stress. Our naturopath Trish can arrange any relevant testing and create a tailored treatment plan to improve your sleep and optimise your energy levels.
To book an appointment with Trish at our Bundaberg clinic, call us on (07) 41522372