10 Simple Ways to Improve Sleep

10 Simple Ways to Improve Sleep

1. Go screen free an hour before bed

In a study of 10,000 young people aged from 16 to 19, researchers in Norway found that the longer a young person spent looking at an electronic screen before going to bed, the worse quality sleep they were likely to have (Health, 2015).

The blue light on phones is also said to mess with circadian rhythms making it harder to get to sleep. Try screen free and see the difference for yourself!

2. Enable Night-Shift on Phone/Handled devices

I personally found it great and it’s also a good reminder to yourself that your screen time should be limited before bed too.

iPhone: Install latest iOS and watch How to enable Night Shift on iPhone.
Android: Download Night Shift: Blue Light Filter

3. Enable Night-Shift on laptop/desktops

F.lux does a similar job on your desktop or laptop to that listed above. It makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. This has been really beneficial for me when studying or working on my own business to ensure I don’t work into the night. Once the screen changes colour I know it’s time to start winding up work for the day.

Download f.lux FREE!

4. Read a book before bed

Read 15 mins-1 hour before bed. This is a great way to ensure you do actually commit to screen free before bed. It is also said to reduce stress and relax the whole body by immersing yourself in another world, even if only for a short period of time. An added benefit it that it makes you less likely to play with your phone.

5. Stick to your bedtime schedule

Erratic sleep patterns can contribute to poor sleep quality. Go to bed and get up same time everyday.

More info – Sleep.org – Sleep Schedule

6. Avoid caffeine after 1pm

Caffeine blocks sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production. This might be a handy helper on those morning you just can’t seem to wake up. However it can take up to 6 hours for caffeine to be removed from the body ad therefore it’s best to limit caffeine consumption to the morning.

More info – The Sleep Foundation – Caffeine and Sleep

7. Avoid liquid intake 2 hours before bed

Intermittent sleep can leave you feeling like you didn’t sleep a wink. Avoiding liquid intake 2 hours prior to bed will ensure you don’t wake up needing a trip to the bathroom.

8. Put your phone on silent an hour before bed

This is another way to ensure you commit to screen free before bed. Notifications are a great way to stay in touch and up to date with everything in your life. However, more often than not anything received in the hour before bed should be able to wait until the next morning. This also ensures you don’t get awoken during the night from notifications.

9. Essential oils

Mix some water with lavender or chamomile and spray on your pillow. A recent review of the literature by Fismer & Pilkington (2012) showed that lavender oil has a small to moderate benefit in helping sleep. Studies have shown it to increase deep sleep and demonstrate a trend towards reduced wake frequency (Fismer & Pilkington, 2012).

10. Deep breathing

Practise deep breathing and focus on clearing the mind. It may seem like the simplest thing in the world, but done correctly it can be very effective.

Download one of these apps and give it a try!

Breathe2Relax – iPhone
Breathe2Relax – Android

References

Feng, Q., Zhang, Q., Du, Y., Ye, Y., & He, Q. (2014). Associations of Physical Activity, Screen Time with Depression, Anxiety and Sleep Quality among Chinese College Freshmen. PLoS ONE, 9(6), PLoS ONE, June 25, 2014, Vol.9(6).

HEALTH Screen-time before bed ‘harms teens’ sleep’. (2015, March 07). The Northern Advocate, p. A.11.

 

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