Tips to help you sleep like a baby

Tips to help you sleep like a baby

Do you have trouble sleeping? 

Many of my patients are reporting difficulties getting to sleep or staying asleep currently. Worries are keeping minds busy or staying at home more means that they are not as physically tired. These tips will help you to improve your sleep habits, and hopefully, help you to get a more healing sleep. 

Get moving, Get outside

Not moving outside affects physical tiredness. Working from home, or in an office or generally not going out as much means that you tend to move less. So, when it comes to bedtime you are not as physically tired.  

As well as organised exercise, build in some physical activity outside each day (even 10 minutes in the garden sweeping leaves will help).

  • You will burn more calories therefore you will be more tired when you go to bed. 
  • You will stretch out those muscles which have been held in fixed positions for long periods, so will be less likely to be stiff and achy when you go to bed. 

If you have been more sedentary, your mental stimulation may not have been as varied, there will be a reduction in your exposure to a variety of people, situations, temperatures, lights, sounds or smells. You may feel fatigued by your environment but may not be mentally tired. Less natural light and more artificial light during the darker days or at night can disrupt your circadian rhythms – which control your daily sleep / wake cycle. 

By getting outside you will stimulate your mind and senses by:

  • interacting with the nature, 
  • extending your visual fields,
  • hearing a wider variety of sounds,
  • feeling the changes in temperatures
  • get more natural light which will help regulate your circadian rhythm.

You will be exposed to vitamin D.

  • low levels of vitamin D are believed to contribute to fewer hours and less restorative sleep.
  • Vitamin D will also help the immune system to fight off infections.

Set aside some wind down time

Having had a busy day, it is essential to try to switch off and relax before bedtime. Try these tips to help you wind down.

  • Avoid electronic gadgets as a wind down tool if you can. 
  • Have a nice warm relaxing bath with a few drops of lavender oil.
  • Avoid alcohol and food just before bedtime.

Prepare your bedroom for sleep

A busy, cluttered bedroom will not make it easy to sleep. If possible, try to keep your clutter down, and your work out of your bedroom.

  • The perfect temperature for sleep is between 18 and 24°C, (towards the cooler end is best).
  • The room should be quiet, dark and tidy.
  • Avoid bringing electronic devices into the bedroom at night.

A comfortable bed

Make sure your pillows and mattress fit your needs.

  • Is your mattress more than seven years old?
  • Is it lumpy or saggy?
  • Do you feel achy, or your joints feel stiff in the morning?
  • Do you sleep better when you are in a different bed?
  • Is your pillow become lumpy, or misshapen?
  • Make sure your pillow holds your head in line with your spine and shoulders, as it would when you are standing.
  • You should be able to tuck your pillow in to your neck to support it.
  • The number of pillows depends on the breadth of your shoulders and how you sleep.
  • You will need a thicker pillow if you sleep on your side than if you sleep on your back.

If this sounds like your mattress or pillows you should replace them. The Sleep Council is a good source of advice for selecting the right mattress and pillows for you. 

If you are still achy or suffering from stiffness, give your osteopath a call and book an appointment.