3 Top Tips On Getting The Best Night's Sleep

3 Top Tips On Getting The Best Night's Sleep

3 Top Tips On Getting The Best Night's Sleep

Most people suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. There are many causes for the problem but the majority of them can be helped with these few simple tips.

1) Deal with unresolved issues from the day. If you often lie awake at night thinking about jobs you haven't finished during the day then this one is for you. Unresolved conflict with family or colleagues is another reason to lie awake.  A good tip is to look ahead in the afternoon to what might keep you awake that night. Work out what jobs you need to do and who you need to speak to in order to be able to have a restful night's sleep. If you do this in plenty of time during the day you will still have time to resolve the problems.

A further thought on this tip is not to check your emails last thing at night. You may be checking them to reassure yourself that there are no disasters in the office. If a complaint or message about a broken system lands in your mailbox at 11:15 at night you may not be able to do anything to resolve it . You will have a restless night thinking about the problem.

2) Block out snoring and noise. The sound of a partner snoring and noise in the street are both common reasons for people to lose sleep at night. Try getting your partner an anti-snore pillow for their birthday. These position the head and jaw to reduce snoring. Try getting yourself a good pair of earplugs from http://zenplugs.com/sleeping-earplugs/; this may be enough to allow you to sleep through.

3) Avoid backlit screens late at night. It has recently been found that some of the wavelengths of light given off by backlit screens are the same as daylight. This includes tablets, smartphones and laptops. This stimulates the part of the brain called the pineal gland which controls wakefulness. Your brain thinks it is daytime much later into the evening and so it takes you much longer to fall asleep. 

There are a few things you can do to reduce this problem. Firstly you could avoid using these devices for a few hours before going to sleep. If you do use them, trying to minimise your time and turn the brightness of the screen down as low as possible. Alternatives include reading a book instead of a backlit ereader.  Otherwise you could invest in in a non-backlit version such as the original Kindle. These can be seen using normal light from your room and so do not keep you awake in the same way.

Summary. If you have difficulty sleeping there are a few things you could try. Deal with unresolved issues from the day, invest in a pair of earplugs and avoid backlit screens in the evening. Sleep well!

Dr Toby Bateson

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