Tips from Dr Joanna Livingstone, Lead Psychologist at AXA PPP healthcare
- Create a routine
Try keeping a regular sleep schedule – even during holidays – to help in developing a consistent sleep-wake rhythm that fosters better quality sleep.
- Eat at the right times
Heavy eating or drinking before bedtime can lead to bloating or discomfort, and disruptive trips to the bathroom.
Spend some time making your bedroom into a more peaceful and relaxing place. If there’s paperwork or a heap of laundry at your bedside, you should consider the effect this will have on your ability to relax. Make your bedroom an inviting place to sleep with low lighting and minimal clutter.
Regular exercise has been proven to help sleeping patterns. If you exercise in the morning or afternoon, you’ll still have enough time to wind down before bedtime.
- Above all, be positive
Our thoughts and predictions about sleeping can affect our mood and bodies. If you think you are not going to be able to sleep, this can cause anxiety and you may experience an increased heart rate and restlessness or sweatiness, which then leads to poor sleep. If however you think more positively about sleeping well, then this will relax your muscles and reduce your heart rate for a more conducive sleep. And to help reduce waking in the night with a headful of thoughts, try writing your worries in a journal before going to sleep each night.
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