Below is a summary of tips covered on my talk  "A good nights sleep is important"

How to prepare for sleep:

  • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, quiet, correct temperature, dark, boring!
  • No TV, computers, iPad, laptops, phones in bedroom
  • Suitable bedding for season, ear plugs / eye mask if required

Do's and Don'ts for a good night's sleep:

  • Routine
  • Wakefulness during the day, sleepiness at night
  • Try to develop a good sleeping pattern - same time to bed, same time to get up (1 hour variation at weekend).
  • No daytime naps
  • Do not do anything mentally demanding 90 minutes before bed
  • Develop your own individual night time routine to help you wind down. E.g. a stroll, followed by a bath, some light reading and a warm drink (without caffeine)
  • Resist the temptation to lie in even after a bad night
  • Switch the light off when in bed, Soft music  (time switch)
  • Relaxation meditations, breathing exercises
  • Healthy diet
  • Regular exercise (aim for 30 mins per day 5+ days per week)
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks or reduce to 3 per day last drink at 4pm
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Sleep diary: Time in bed, time asleep, food, exercise, feeling throughout the day
  • Practice sleep restrictive therapy, up after 20 mins if not asleep – repeat as necessary. Go to bed when you are tired – listen to your own internal clock
  • Journal in the evening about your day and anything that may be worrying you
  • Listen to the language you use around sleep
  • Become aware of your thoughts and your internal dialogue
  • Paradoxical Intent – Try not to sleep (used for people who have trouble getting to sleep)
  • Accept some people are better sleepers than others
  • Exercises to help calm the mind and body

To effectively relax, we need to activate the body's natural relaxation response and help bring the nervous system back in balance - examples include:

1) Breathing meditation       

2) Body scan  

3) Progressive muscle relaxation


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