Five ways to end sleepless nights

Five ways to end sleepless nights

If you have got into a habit of waking at night or can’t get off to sleep, try these five simple tips.


Getting a good night’s sleep is not only about giving our bodies a rest, it helps us function better on a day to day basis. Studies on animals have suggested that sleep enhances the ability to learn and is good for memory. An American university study published in spring 2009 suggested that sleep was also important to allow the brain a daily clear out of its unnecessary ‘mental garbage’.

What is insomnia?
Chronic insomnia is when you have impaired sleeping – you find it hard to get to sleep, you wake up in the night and/or do not feel as if you have had enough sleep when it’s time to wake up – most nights for at least three weeks. Some people can suffer chronic insomnia for months or years and if you have a serious problem it is worth talking to your GP to see if there are treatments that will help you.

More common is occasional bouts of insomnia for a few days or at most a couple of weeks. It tends to affect women more than men.

While everyone is different, on average adults tend to need seven to nine hours’ sleep. So, if you haven’t got a chronic problem but you do find yourself suffering periods of sleepless nights, give these five tips a go.

Five ideas to beat sleepless nights

1. Pick a sleep-friendly nightcap. Caffeine might give you a boost in the morning but it can keep you far more stimulated than you need at bedtime, making a proper deep sleep hard to achieve. Alcohol, too, might make you feel sleepy but it can affect the quality or continuity of sleep you enjoy. Instead, the traditional nightcap of a warm milk-based drink should help soothe you off to a warmed sleep.

Registration

Become a member of Supersavvyme and get exclusive offers!

Become a member

2. Prepare for sleep through the day – by being active. It might seem obvious that a good bracing walk is going to provide you with a better night’s sleep, but even on a day to day basis, being active helps the body work out its stresses, leaving you more relaxed at night.

3. Get into a routine. With babies, the evening bath and bottle of milk are signals that help create a regular bedtime routine. Our bodies will respond to a mellow, relaxing routine too. If you usually take a shower in the morning, think about switching to a calming evening bath. Also, where possible try to be consistent and go to bed around the same time each night to ease your body into a regular habit.

4. Stick to sleeptime triggers that work for you. It’s hard to imagine that anyone finds worrying about work or chores is a helpful way to get off to sleep! Instead, take your mind off what needs to be done tomorrow by reading or listening to the radio. Different people will discover what works for them – a breezy magazine or an absorbing novel, light music or the chatter of a news radio station.

5. Get comfortable. There’s nothing worse than turning over and over trying to get into a position that works for you. Improvise with pillows to find what suits your body. If you like to lie on your side, try sleeping with a small pillow under the knee of the leg on top – it helps prevent your middle from twisting. Or try resting your head and neck on a V-shaped pillow, you’ll be amazed how much more comfortable it can be.

For more ideas and advice, especially if you have a long term problem with insomnia, take a look at the website for The Sleep Council.

Complete your personal information

Please fill in the information marked with an asterisk to proceed; if you want to get tailored offers and content, don't forget to fill in the optional fields.

sdoyle

sdoyle

Reported

My son suffered from insomnia, now i get him to shower clean, run a hot bath 5 drops of lavender oil in the water couple of tea lights in the bathroom, around 45 mins, he's dried pjs on within 5mins hes asleep until his alarm goes off for college in the morning.

  • Report it

Definitely find listening to the radio helps now. Book at bedtime on radio 4 especially effective x

  • Report it
Gt

Gt

Reported

Its very hard for me to fall a sleep early in the night time might be i had to much things on my mind.

  • Report it

Acarr90

Reported

Great tips. I find that banning all electricals like mobile phones and TV for at least 30 minutes before trying to sleep. I will either just lie and talk to my husband or read a book. Finding nice ways to wind down is definitely beneficial :-)

  • Report it
Gailf

Gailf

Reported

What great tips.I do have problems sleeping and have invested in a cd radio player beside my bed.I usually put on a relaxing music cd and as it has a timer,then I usually set it for say an hour and invariably I'm asleep before it's finished...and haven't got to think of it playing away all night.Hope this helps some of you as there really is nothing worse than tossing and turning all night!

  • Report it
Always