If you are having trouble sleeping there are many small changes you can make to improve the length and quality of your sleep.
Reduce caffeine- its difficult to tell someone who is feeling really tired that they cant have a cup of coffee in the morning but its definitely worth thinking about the timing of your caffeine. A shot of espresso has a half-life of 6 hours- that means that in 6 hours there will still be half of that shot of coffee in your blood system. So for example if you had a double shot coffee at 4pm there will still be an entire shot of caffeine in your blood stream at 10pm. Would you choose to drink a cup of coffee at 10pm if you were finding it difficult to sleep?! Remember many fizzy drinks contain high levels of caffeine also.
Alcohol-alcohol is a sedative and will help you fall to sleep but the sleep you experience is not as restorative as ‘natural’ sleep and you are more likely to wake up earlier.
Routine- going to bed at a similar time each night and waking at a similar time each morning can really help to establish a good sleep pattern.
Avoid daytime napping- we need our ‘sleep pressure’ to build through the day so that we are tired and ready to sleep at the right time and having a nap in the daytime will reduce the need to sleep when it comes to bedtime.
Sleep hygiene- try to avoid using screens just before bed as the blue pigment in the screen of the device can interrupt melatonin production which helps us to feel ready for sleep. Read a book, have a bath, listen to music- anything that helps you to unwind (that doesn’t involve a screen!).
Exercise- exercise can improve the way we sleep- try to avoid vigorous exercise in the two hours before you go to bed.
Sleeping environment- try to keep your bedroom cool and dark at bedtime and use the room only for sleeping and sex! Make your room and bed somewhere comfortable where you want to sleep.