Achieve uninterrupted sleep with these top tips

July 28, 2015

A good night's sleep is one of the best things you can do to ensure good health — but can be the most elusive. Here are some techniques that can help promote better sleep. Try one — or try them all.

Achieve uninterrupted sleep with these top tips

Create a transition routine

  • This is something you do every night before bed. It could be as simple as letting the cat out, washing your face and brushing your teeth or meditation exercises.
  • As you begin to move into your routine, your mind will physiologically prepare you for sleep.

Spritz sheets with lavender water

  • The scent is scientifically proven to promote relaxation.
  • Put lavender water in an atomizer and spray above your bed just before climbing in.

Hide your clock

  • That way if you wake up, you won't fret over how late it is and how much sleep you're missing.
  • And the light from it won't disturb you when you're trying to fall asleep.

Pajamas or not?

  • Pajamas. Warm skin helps to slow down your blood's circulation, cooling your internal temperature and generally contributing to a deeper sleep. Just don't overdo it.
  • Your body goes through cool-warm cycles, so you want loose-fitting pajamas that keep you comfortable through these changes.

Go green

Or another calming colour. A soothing colour provides a visual reminder, relaxing you as you lie in bed reading or preparing for sleep.

Choose the right pillow

  • The ideal pillow should be soft and not too high, and provide neck support.
  • If you're subject to allergies or find you're often stuffed up when you awake in the morning, try a hypoallergenic pillow.

Switch to heavier curtains

  • Put them on the bedroom windows if you find it difficult to drop off.
  • Even the light from streetlights, a full moon or your neighbour's house can interfere with the circadian rhythm changes you need to fall asleep.

Banish pets

  • A study also found that dogs and cats created one of the biggest impediments to a good night's sleep since the discovery of caffeine.
  • One reason? The study found that 21 per cent of dogs and seven per cent of cats snored!

Eat a banana

  • It's a great natural source of melatonin, the sleep hormone, as well as tryptophan.
  • Or try the old standby, warm milk, which is also a good source of tryptophan.

No antacids before bed

If you take antacids, take them after dinner. They contain aluminum, which appears to interfere with sleep.

Listen to a book

A calming book on tape — poetry or a biography (no horror novels) — can have the same effect as a bedtime story for children.

Make lettuce tea

  • Steep leaves in a cup of water, add two sprigs of mint, and sip just before bed.
  • Lettuce contains lactucarium, which acts on the brain in a way similar to opium — without the risk of addiction.

Use a eucalyptus lotion

The strongly scented herb provides a soothing feeling and relaxing scent.

Take a hot bath

A bath increases your core body temperature, which abruptly drops when you get out of the bath, readying you for sleep.

Give yourself a massage

  • Slowly move the tips of your fingers around your eyes in a slow, circular motion.
  • After a minute, move down to your mouth, then to your neck and the back of your head.
  • Continue down your body until you're ready to drop off to sleep.
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