The NHS state that 1 in 3 of us suffer from poor sleep 1 and considering we spend 26 years sleeping on average in our lifetime this will obviously have the potential to cause a negative effect on our daily life & health but could also easily affect your earnings potential as well, this brief guide is part of our our ‘Improve yourself‘ category, which is designed to show ways people may scam you, how companies trick you and most importantly how you can improve your life by doing something you love doing.
1) Meditation / Mindfulness / Relaxed Yoga / Warm Bath etc
Done before bed to help with your mental health these 4 simple techniques can dramatically help lower stress, decrease the time it takes to get to sleep
Try Guided Meditation for sleep | Bedtime Meditation (NHS) | Relaxed Yoga
Buy Bath Deep Sleep Bath Soak | Sleep Foam
2) Remove blue lights (i.e. your phone) from your bedtime routine
Or reduce the effects by using apps/software which automatically changes the colour temperature of your screen and adapts to the time of day with warmer orange colours at night and sunlight temperature during the day, this tricks your brain into becoming more relaxed.
You can also use Apple’s Night Shift Mode, Google Android’s Dark Mode or superb third party app such as F.lux
3) Pillow between the legs (for side sleepers) or a pregnancy pillow even if you’re not pregnant
This helps to keep your spine aligned and reduce the stress on your hips and lower back, it also may feel more comfortable and helps with the airing of your privates to keep you cool 😳 It may also help with anxiety at night, especially if you previously enjoyed sleeping next to someone but now sleep alone for whatever reason.
Consider a pregnancy pillow
4) Invest in a decent mattress
Mattress technology has massively improved over the last 10 years and now a new level of comfort is possible, many also now come with free 100+ night trials as well, meaning comfort is risk-free and you can find the perfect mattress!
Companies to try: Simba | Emma
5) Consider a weighted blanket
Weighted blankets are all the rage at the moment and several studies indicate it’s for good reason with 63% of adults reported lower anxiety after sleeping with a 14kg blanket, that said it won’t work for everyone.
Buy a weighted blanket
6) Reduce/Quit caffeine, smoking & alcohol intake (especially before bed)
“Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep, and also prevents deep sleep.”, “Nicotine is a stimulant. People who smoke take longer to fall asleep, wake up more frequently, and often have more disrupted sleep.” and Alcohol can force you to get up in the night for a wee, sweat more and even snore more as your muscles relax (including in your throat).
How long before bed should I stop?
For caffeine, at least seven hours before bed!
For smoking, at least two hours before bed!
For alcohol, ideally, you want to go to bed sober (easier said than done at times). On average it takes an hour to process one unit of alcohol.
Learn how to quit smoking | Get help lowering your alcohol intake | Consider caffeine free coffee | Alcohol and Sleep
7) Force yourself to wake up earlier and/or do more exercise
Consider a smart bulb or wake up light timed to slowly brighten in the mornings (especially good for winter months) and sticking to a strict morning routine will ensure that by nighttime you’re desperate for some decent sleep. Extra exercise will obviously increase how tired you are as well leading to a deeper sleep as your body recovers.
8) Sleep with someone else? Consider two duvets
This sounds crazy at first but it’s extremely common in many countries (including Switzerland, Portugal & Japan) and if you sleep with someone else and have ever thought:
- Why is the other person unnecessarily pulling the duvet
- Why is there an air gap between us that’s making me cold?
- Why is the other person effectively the same temperature as a volcano
- Why am I cold and my partner is hot or vice versa?
- I hate the other person right now as they’ve just woken me for no good reason
Then seriously try this, jump to step 9 for good places to buy from.
Science: The Sleep Council’s Great British Bedtime Report in 2017 confirmed almost a third of us (30%) are getting a poor night’s sleep most nights, with partner disturbance being the second most common reason (25%)!
9) Invest in seriously good bed linen + go one size bigger than you need
As referenced at the start, we spend 26 years on average in our beds yet we see people all the time spending just £15 on a set of cheap polyester bedsheets, yet those say people will spend £150 on a branded jacket, guess which one they will use more…?
Going for a high quality 100% cotton bed set will aid with comfort and temperature regulation.
Generally, the higher the thread count the better the quality and feel, with Egyptian cotton being world renowned as some of the best.
Companies to try: The White Company | DUSK | Soak & Sleep
10) Be better prepared by using apps or a planner
To create high quality ‘To do’ lists for the following days/weeks. Consider a daily planner or apps like Reminders to create automated.
How much sleep should I be getting?
It’s estimated you should have 8 hours of sleep per day but this dramatically varies on you, your lifestyle and level of exercise.
How much sleep do the most productive people get?
Elon Musk sleeps for roughly 6 hours per night, he seems to be doing alright for himself.
Where can I get more FREE advice?
- NHS – Every Mind Matters – Sleep
- MIND – Mental Health Charity – How to cope with sleep problems
- Mental Health Foundation – How to sleep better
- How to stop a bed hogger + other ways to improve your sleep