How to sleep: eight expert tips to sleep well in winter

How to sleep: eight expert tips to sleep well in winter

It is believed that around a third of all adults in the UK will experience trouble sleeping at least once. And after clocks change and temperatures drop, it can be even harder to get enough sleep.

We hit the end of British Summer Time on October 29th, which means the clocks went back an hour.

This can wreak havoc on our circadian rhythms, 24-hour cycles that are part of our body’s internal clock.

With this in mind, the sleep expert at I sleep – Phil Lawlor – shared his eight tips for a restful night’s sleep.

don’t take a nap

Avoid napping during the day, as this can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night and will disrupt your circadian pattern and quality of sleep.

READ MORE: Blood Clot Warning: Four Types of Drinks to Avoid – They Can Cause “Hardening” of the Arteries

Keep a regular sleep routine

Your body will need to adjust to the new sleep cycle, so make sure you have a regular and consistent time to go to sleep and wake up.

It’s important to have a regular bedtime and wake-up time so your brain gets conditioned to feel most awake at the time you expect it to turn on.

Turn off electronic screens early

Our circadian clock is based on light and dark, and the lighter the environment, the more difficult it is to fall asleep. Try to stay away from light sources, particularly blue light, because it’s part of the most active light spectrum in our sleep cycle that keeps you awake.

Your circadian rhythm is already being disrupted with clocks going backwards, so blue light will only further confuse your biological clock and lead to a lower quality of sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

relax before bed

Dim the lights and read a book, instead of watching TV, because these are proven relaxation methods that will help you fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.

Exercise

Burn off any excess energy before bed as this will help encourage relaxation and improve your sleep pattern; however, late-night exercise can increase your body temperature and cause your body to overheat, so make sure you don’t exercise right before bed.

To go outside

Exercise outdoors for all important natural light exposure, which is crucial for reducing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and improving quality of life and improving sleep.

READ MORE: New study shows ‘night owls’ who exercise later in the day reduce diabetes risk

To make the most of the potential of daylight, open the blinds and curtains as soon as you wake up to receive the vitamin D bonus, which will boost your immune system.

There are special SAD lights available to buy throughout the winter, but the best option to improve your mood is to expose yourself to natural light.

Eat healthily

You may want to keep an eye on what foods and drinks you’re consuming to improve your health and sleep, particularly with your body adjusting to the clocks that are turning back.

The first substance that probably comes to mind is caffeine, which is a stimulant that can keep you awake.

It’s present in many sodas and energy drinks, as well as coffee and tea, so make sure you avoid it before bed. Sugary drinks and foods can also keep your brain hyperactive in the run-up to bedtime, so be sure to cut these out at night as well, to ensure you get a good quality of sleep.

Choose a high-quality mattress.

Sleeping on a mattress in poor condition can cause discomfort, making it difficult to fall asleep and can lead to multiple nighttime awakenings.

A high-quality memory foam mattress or memory foam topper will give you personalized support precisely where your body needs it, while a quality pillow will ensure your neck and head are as comfortable as possible.

You can also choose a duvet with the right level of insulation to ensure you stay warm on the colder nights ahead.

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