Understanding sleep problems: 6 Tips for better sleep

(Public Health England)

 

We all have evenings when we find it hard to fall asleep or find ourselves waking up in the night. How we sleep and how much sleep we need is different for all of us and changes as we get older.

Sleep problems usually sort themselves out within about a month. But longer stretches of bad sleep can start to affect our lives.

It can cause extreme tiredness and make usually manageable tasks harder. If you regularly have problems sleeping, you may be experiencing insomnia. Insomnia can last for months or even years, but usually improves if you change your sleeping habits.

Sleep problems are common, and the tips on this page should help. But if they have not worked, or you have had trouble sleeping for months and it affects your daily life in a way that makes it hard to cope, you could benefit from further support.

 

Top tips to get to sleep and sleep better

  1. Keep regular sleep hours
    Going to bed when you feel tired and getting up at roughly the same time helps teach your body to sleep better. Try to avoid napping where possible.
  2. Create a restful environment
    Dark, quiet and cool environments generally make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Watch our video for tips on how to sleep better.Tips for sleeping better video
  3. Move more, sleep better
    Being active can help you sleep better. These videos can get you going, but remember to avoid vigorous activity near bedtime if it affects your sleep.Home workout videos
  4. Confront sleeplessness
    If you are lying awake unable to sleep, do not force it. Get up and do something relaxing for a bit, and return to bed when you feel sleepier.
  5. Write down your worries
    If you often lie awake worrying about tomorrow, set aside time before bed to make a list for the next day. This can help put your mind at rest.Tackle your worries video
  6. Put down the pick-me-ups
    Caffeine and alcohol can stop you falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try to cut down on alcohol and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
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