Healthy Living: Five ways to get a great night’s sleep

Can't sleep? Try these five top tips
Can't sleep? Try these five top tips
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There is nothing worse than waking up feeling as though you haven’t slept a wink after a restless night of tossing and turning.

Most of us struggle to get the recommended six to eight hours of sleep each night which leaves us lacking energy and motivation the next day.

Here’s some tips to help you get the good night’s rest you need.

Cut down on caffeine

Caffeine can stay in your system up to 12 hours and can leave you unable to switch off at night.

Limit yourself to two or three caffeinated drinks a day and don’t drink them after 2pm.

If you like a hot drink in the evening try warm milk or herbal tea such as chamomile which are both known to help you sleep.

Relax

Make time to wind down in the evening and set aside an hour before bed to have a warm bath, read a book, listen to soothing music or do some gentle stretching to relax your mind and signal to your body that it is time to rest.

Dim the lights

Studies show a dimly lit room helps improve sleep and indicate that it is time to rest.

Before bedtime turn down the lights and switch off electronics such as computers, televisions and mobile phones which stimulate the brain and cause us to feel more awake.

Focus your mind

If falling asleep is a struggle due to an overactive mind try a gentle meditation exercise.

Forget all other thoughts and focus on your breathing.

Count your breaths and imagine you’re in a peaceful place such as walking along a beach, standing under a waterfall or floating in the ocean.

Eat a sleepy meal

Eating a meal that includes protein and complex carbohydrates such as fish with steamed vegetables, sweet potato and brown rice is perfect for promoting sleep.

Make sure you eat at least two hours before bedtime to allow food to digest.

Cherries are proven to help sleep by increasing the body’s level of melatonin.

Try eating them with yoghurt for a delicious dessert or evening snack.