Experts agree that practicing what is known as good ‘sleep hygiene’ can make an important contribution to getting a good night’s sleep. But this is just another way of saying that you need to get into good habits if you are to achieve consistently good sleep.
Most experts agree that adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep per night:
- Go to bed and get up at roughly the same time every day
- Avoid lying in regularly
- Establish a bedtime routine – relax by reading a book or having a bath in the hour before you go to bed
- Make sure that your bed and bedding are comfortable – change bedclothes regularly and air your bedroom
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the evening
- Don’t eat a heavy meal late at night ( and if you do, delay going to bed until you feel comfortable and relaxed)
- Avoid exercise in the late evening, especially the hour or so before bedtime
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark – the ideal bedroom temperature is 18°C. turn off the house heating well before bedtime. Use blackout blinds (cheap and easily fitted) in combination with curtains
- Ban TV and computers from the bedroom – the bright light can make you more awake. Try to avoid contact with bright screens in the hour before bedtime.
- Try to avoid napping during the day. If you do enjoy a daytime nap, schedule this for roughly the same time each day and make sure you don’t sleep for too long.