Good sleep is essential if you want to feel healthy, happy, and full of energy. But sometimes falling asleep is not easy. The odd tough night is no big deal, but if you find yourself staring at the ceiling for hours as you wait for slumber to come, there are some simple things you can do to help fight against insomnia.
Lose the Caffeine
Everyone knows that caffeine is a stimulant. If you are struggling to fall asleep or even stay asleep then caffeine could be the problem. You might be thinking “Oh no. I don’t drink caffeine in the evenings anyway!”, but it is not that simple. Research shows that drinking caffeine at any time of the day can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Consider switching it out for de-caff. You can go cold turkey (which can be a rough ride for a few days) or gradually wean yourself off over time to avoid the withdrawal symptoms.
Get Sunlight On Your Eyes In The Morning
Getting some sunlight on your eyes in the morning can help tell your body that it’s time to wake up and start the day. Just 10 minutes in the sunlight will set your circadian rhythm off on the right track, making it easier to fall asleep when the evening comes.
Avoid Screens In The Evening
If you are struggling to fall asleep it could be the TV that is to blame. Most screens emit blue light. This has been shown to have a stimulating effect on the brain which can interfere with your ability to sleep. Ideally, turn the TV off a few hours before bedtime and do not look at your phone or other screens. If you usually read on your phone at bedtime then consider switching back to paper books or get a paperwhite kindle, as they do not emit blue light. If ditching the evening TV is too much to ask, then consider getting some blue light filtering glasses too.
Don’t Snack After 9 pm
Eating in the evening can give your body the wrong message and prevent you from falling easily into a silent slumber. Avoid snacking after dinner, but if you must, then avoid sugary or carby foods and make sure you have finished eating by 9pm to give your body time to digest your food before you go to bed.
1: GET YOUR SLEEP CYCLE BACK ON TRACK
While late nights and lazy mornings may have been a luxury to enjoy through the lockdown and summer holiday, a sleep schedule that’s off-kilter is going to be your worst nightmare once school or work begins. Start adjusting your circadian rhythm now by moving your wake-up time forwards by 15 minutes each morning, and your bedtime forward by 15 minutes each night until you get back to your optimum schedule.
2: EAT CLEAN FOR MORE ENERGY
Many people have found their diets slip through the lockdown – a little extra wine here, a little takeout treat there. While finding ways to treat yourself and make these last few months more enjoyable is great, if your diet is not clean and healthy, you will feel it in your mood, your body and your energy when you go back to work. Start eating consciously again – reduce your alcohol intake (or cut it out!), limit any refined foods or sugars and pack in plenty of lean proteins, fresh fruit and veg for a nutrient boost.
3: GET MOVING TO IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS
Re-learning how to sit still and focus is going to be tough for kids this September – and adults too! Returning to sitting at a desk and asking your brain to focus on challenging or mundane tasks is going to be tough. But exercise can help! sufferer keep a food diary. Log everything you eat and drink and look out for any patterns so you can avoid the foods that could be triggering your migraines.
As little as 15 minutes of movement in the morning can not only improve your fitness, boost your immune system, and make you feel healthier, but it can help you to focus through the day too.
4: HAVE A REALISTIC & POSITIVE MINDSET
Getting back to normal is likely to have some challenges. If you start this journey expecting that there might be some tough times and difficult adjustments, then you will be much more prepared to handle them when they pop up. Talk to your kids about the changes to come, problem-solve together and be kind to each other – and yourself as you learn to adjust once again to this new normal. Most importantly – stay positive. Even if the adjustment is hard, remember that this too shall pass, and you’ll soon be enjoying your more structured life once again.