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While few people manage to stick to strict bedtime routines and for people who struggle with insomnia, this can be a real problem. Irregular sleeping hours make it even harder for the body to wind down and fall asleep. Your routine depends on what works for you, but the most important thing is working out a routine and sticking to it.

If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed. Here are our tips to wind down and get yourself into a sleeping routine to stop you falling asleep during the day!

Sleep at regular times
First of all, keep regular sleeping hours. This programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine. Most people need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule. It is also important to try and wake up at the same time every day. While it may seem like a good idea to try to catch up on sleep after a bad night, doing so on a regular basis can also disrupt your sleep routine.
Make sure you wind down
Winding down is very important to help your mind quiet down, relax, and fall asleep peacefully. Everyone relaxes in different ways but these are the tips that work for us:

  • a warm bath will not only help you unwind and relax your muscles but also helps your body reach a temperature that’s ideal for rest
  • writing to-do lists for the next day can organise your thoughts and stop your mind racing.
  • relaxation exercises, such as light yoga stretches, help to relax the muscles. Do not exercise vigorously, as it will have the opposite effect.
  • relaxation sounds, meditation sounds are great to relax the mind. The gentle hypnotic music and sound effects to relax you. There are countless apps you can get to help you unwind, The NHS have a great library: the NHS Apps Library.
  • reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind by distracting it
  • avoid using smartphones, tablets or other electronic devices for an hour or so before you go to bed as the light from the screen on these devices may have a negative effect on sleep
Make your bedroom sleep-friendly
Your bedroom should be a relaxing environment. Experts claim there’s a strong association in people’s minds between sleep and the bedroom. However, certain things weaken that association, such as TVs and other electronic gadgets, light, noise, and a bad mattress or bed.Your bedroom ideally needs to be dark, quiet, tidy and be kept at a temperature of between 18C and 24C. If you’re disturbed by noise, use earplugs.

Keep a sleep diary
It can be a good idea to keep a sleep diary. It may uncover lifestyle habits or daily activities that contribute to your sleeplessness. This can also be used to scribble down racing thoughts before bed.

 

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