Good Health Choices - - Be Informed -

Sim­ple changes can be very ef­fec­tive in im­prov­ing your qual­ity of rest. Al­though these tips might seem like com­mon sense, it’s amaz­ing how many peo­ple are in­ad­ver­tently sab­o­tag­ing their sleep.

STOP Go­ing to bed hun­gry.

START Tim­ing your evening meal so that you fin­ish eat­ing at least two hours be­fore bed­time. It’s im­por­tant not to be hun­gry at bed­time, but hav­ing a full stom­ach can also make it dif­fi­cult to sleep. A light snack at bed­time can im­prove sleep.

STOP Watch­ing TV in bed.

START Re­mov­ing all dis­trac­tions like tele­vi­sions, com­put­ers, ra­dios or phones. This will make a big difference to your sleep qual­ity. Also cover any clocks to avoid clock-watch­ing be­fore you drop off to sleep or if you wake up in the mid­dle of the night.

STOP Go­ing to bed at dif­fer­ent times.

START Try­ing to go to bed at the same time each night. Your body clock works best if there is a reg­u­lar sleep rou­tine. By ig­nor­ing your sleep sig­nals and stay­ing up, you miss the win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for sleep. Go­ing to bed too early can also dis­turb your sleep; sim­ply go­ing to bed later might be the sin­gle most ef­fec­tive thing you can do.

STOP Bad bed­time habits.

START Do­ing things in the hour be­fore go­ing to bed that will create a re­lax­ing sleep rou­tine. Tak­ing a warm bath, read­ing qui­etly or en­joy­ing a warm milk drink are all good op­tions. Avoid any stim­u­lat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the hour be­fore bed, such as ex­er­cise, com­puter games, tele­vi­sion and hav­ing im­por­tant dis­cus­sions as these will make it harder for you to quiet your mind.

STOP Smok­ing.

START Tak­ing steps to give up. Call Quit­line on 0800 778 778 to start the process. Your health suf­fers when you smoke but it also has an im­pact on your sleep be­cause nico­tine is a stim­u­lant.

STOP Drink­ing cof­fee or eat­ing choco­late late at night.

START Hav­ing your last caf­feine hit at least four hours be­fore bed. This in­cludes cof­fee, tea, cola and choco­late.

STOP Drink­ing al­co­hol at least four hours be­fore bed.

START Hav­ing your last drink at least four hours be­fore bed. Al­co­hol might help you get to sleep, but it will lead to a rest­less sleep and can make you feel hot­ter overnight. It also ex­ac­er­bates prob­lems like snor­ing and sleep ap­noea.

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