Our top tips for a better night’s sleep

Posted 13/03/2019 by E.ON

Just like our home appliances rely on electricity for energy, our bodies are powered by sleep to re-energise and refresh ourselves for the day ahead. The Great British Bedtime Report from The Sleep Council suggests Britain simply isn’t getting enough kip, with almost three quarters of us (74%) getting less than the recommended minimum 7 hours sleep per night1.

A poor night’s sleep can affect our attention span and memory, as well as contributing to more serious long-term health issues.

So how can we improve our sleeping habits and start feeling more energised?

1. Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it

Research suggests going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is key when it comes to a better night’s sleep. Get into a routine and stick to it, 7 nights a week.

If you can, avoid technology late at night, as the garish light of a smartphone or tablet can interfere with our body clock, sending messages to the brain that it’s time to wake up. 38% of us Brits keep and use a smartphone in the bedroom1, but swapping this for a good book or listening to calming music could be the answer to drifting off more quickly.

A warm bubble bath or may also do the trick, with scents of lavender and geranium to prepare you for slumber.

 

2. Make sure your bedroom is the perfect temperature

Our bodies are naturally at their warmest in the evenings, but this drops when we settle down to sleep. Trying to nod off in a room that is too hot or too cold can cause restlessness and lead to a lower quality sleep.

Experts recommend turning the thermostat down to a cooler 16-18°C at night2, or slightly higher for young children and older people. Create a relaxing sanctuary with soft blankets, comfortable pillows and a cosy hot water bottle, but keep the room well ventilated where possible.

Our Green Guru Mike suggests a smart thermostat such as tado° could help you to keep track of the temperature of your room and give you more control over your bills, too.

 

3. Avoid eating a heavy meal late at night

Eating heavy, sugary or spicy foods before you head to bed could prevent your body from winding down. It’s a similar story for caffeine, which can reduce sleep duration and quality.

Instead, eat a substantial meal earlier in the day and have a light snack, or supper, before you turn in for the night. Also consider swapping your after-dinner cup of coffee for herbal tea or a decaffeinated alternative.

 

4. Turn down the lights

Nothing will ruin your oasis of calm like bright, harsh lighting. Use a dimmer lamp for bedtime reading and invest in black out curtains or blinds to stop street lights and car headlights peeking in.

According to our Green Guru Mike, thick curtains will also provide better insulation for your home, keeping the temperature just right. Even the glow of your television or other devices on stand-by can penetrate through the darkness and disturb your slumber.

Mike suggests turning chargers and devices that you’re not using off at the wall while you sleep, which could also save you money off your energy bill.

 

5. Power up before you power down

Exercise is also considered key to a good snooze, as it reduces stress and tires out our bodies. There’s no need to hit the gym 7 days a week, but adopting more active habits could help you drift off at night. Why not try this home workout put together by fitness guru Alice Liveing?

Follow these simple tips and sleep easy in the knowledge that you’re taking steps to prioritise your well-being, leaving you recharged and re-energised to take on a new day.

Sources:

1The Sleep Council, The Great British Bedtime Report, 2017 report.

2Make Getting Better Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution, The Sleep Council, 2019.

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