10 tips to help you sleep better!

Do you get enough sleep?

Like every other muscle in our body we have to train our brain to relax and become sleepy. Sometimes this includes changing the physical disposition in our bodies like temperature, reducing our food intake in the evening and also reducing our exercise levels.

In short, going to bed early and getting up at the same time is the best form of sleep. This pattern can assist in having healthy relationships with the people around you, losing weight, improved memory and some studies have linked a good sleeping regime to a more youthful appearance.

Sometimes it’s not easy to go straight to sleep and we suffer from insomnia. This can affect us for just a few nights or it could go on for many months.  In some cases we may need some natural medicines to assist with long term insomnia or even medication upon a doctor’s recommendation, however, trying to change ones habits first can really help and in most cases it can assist us to become sleepy at our desired bedtime.

See below ten top tips to help with sleep.

  1. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This is the most important sleep habit!
  2. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day but not more than 2-3 hours before bed as this may increase your body temperature too much and delay onset of sleepiness.
  3. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, cola, black tea and some herbal teas contain caffeine. The effect of just one cup of coffee can take up to 8 hours to wear off. Nicotine is also a stimulant, often causing smokers (or vapers) to sleep very lightly at night and to wake too early in the morning due to nicotine withdrawal.
  4. Avoid alcohol before bed. One drink might help you relax but anything more than this will affect the quality of your sleep and heavy use may impair your breathing while you sleep.
  5. Avoid large meals in the evening, they may cause indigestion. A light snack is ok. Avoid a lot of fluid in the evening, it may cause you to wake to pass urine during the night.
  6. If possible avoid medicines that delay or disrupt sleep. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about changing to another medicine or changing the time you take the medicine.
  7. Don’t take naps after 3pm. Naps can be helpful to make up for lost sleep but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
  8. Relax before bed. Don’t overschedule your day so that no time is left for unwinding.
  9. Take a hot bath or shower before bed. The drop in body temperature after getting out of the bath/shower may help you feel sleepy and help you relax and slow down.
  10. Dark bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom. Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed/pillow, phones, television or warm temperatures. If you have a bedside clock turn the clockface out of view so that you don’t worry about the time while trying to fall asleep.

Try to implement some of the above before resorting to a natural remedy and if you decide to try something natural drop into Higgins Pharmacy Sligo and speak with one of our pharmacists to get a product that best suits you. Remember to make sure you get at least 30 minutes of sun every day! Get out into the world, take the dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog, get one and take them for a quick walk in the morning and evening. This really helps and studies have concluded that dogs can reduce heart attacks, so an extra reason to consider a K9 friend.

If you’re just starting to change your sleeping pattern and currently do the complete opposite to the above tips, then take little steps in changing. Include a few of these tips every few weeks. Sleep change can take a little time to see results, just like training at the gym. Stick at it and you will see (and feel) the results!


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