Thursday 21 March 2013

Creative tips to improve the quality of your sleep

At least Alfie enjoys a good nights sleep!

By now, most of us know the conventional rules on how to improve sleep quality. After a restless night, it is likely that we have all listened to similar advice, with turning off the TV, avoiding caffeine and a good relaxing soak being amongst the most well-known tips.

While the above information is completely valid, there are a few alternative ways to improve sleep that you may not have considered. As good quality rest is a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle, why not try out some of the suggestions below to see if you can achieve a better night-time routine?

Think about your meals and snacks - while you may have heard that caffeine can affect sleep, there are also certain foods and drinks that can promote a better night’s sleep. Combine carbs and dairy such as cereal and milk, or snack on melatonin-rich cherries and magnesium-filled pumpkin seeds and spinach to aid deeper, restful sleep. Turkey is also a great sleep-superfood as it contains the amino acid L-tryptophan which, when metabolized, releases neurotransmitters which help to regulate sleep and has a calming effect.

What about your bedding? - as it's National Bed Month, why not say yes to a new duvet, pillows and mattress topper? If your old ones are a little shabby, you may find that they no longer benefit your sleep like they once did. Whether you fancy splurging on a goose down duvet king size, a comforting mattress topper or brand new feather pillows, getting the right new bedding can help you achieve better sleep, and the little treat can also help you look forward to going to bed.

Offload your mind - conclude your day by jotting down any thoughts, whether positive or negative. You have a chance to offload any anxious or angry feelings onto the paper, rather than letting them keep you awake at night. It also gives you an opportunity to think about something pleasant like what you are grateful for, allowing you to end the day on a happy note.

Sleep in a cool bedroom - you are likely to know that a warm bath or shower can help you to relax, but did you know that your body temperature needs to drop in order for you to drop off? Having a room that’s even slightly too warm can disturb sleep, so turning the radiator down a notch and choosing the right tog duvet can help.

Look forward to the morning - while this may seem a little strange, having a good routine in the morning can often help you to sleep better at night. Set a wakeup time every day, have a good dose of sunlight in the morning and wake up to mood-enhancing music. By awakening in this positive setting, you are less likely to fall to sleep dreading the call of your morning alarm.

Armed with these sleep tips, some of which you are likely to have never tried before, you may find that you wake up on the right side of the bed a little more often. If you have any more creative sleep tips, it would be interesting to hear how other people achieve a good night's sleep.

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