Sleeping well directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life. A good night’s sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet.

In the past decade, both sleep quality and quantity has declined. In fact, many people regularly get poor sleep. Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, weight gain and brain function.

Making simple but important changes to your daytime routine and bedtime habits can have a profound impact on how well you sleep, leaving you feeling mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long.

1. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime.

2. Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive. You can minimize the impact by using devices with smaller screens, turning the brightness down, or using light-altering software such as f.lux.

3. Exercise during the day. People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.

4. Limit caffeine. You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it!

5. Lavender oil. A 2016 study found that college students who inhaled a lavender-scented patch before bed reported better night time sleep and more daytime energy, compared to those who inhaled a placebo patch.

6. Charge your phone overnight in a different room. Some people charge their phone overnight on their bedside table creating issues with wi-fi so close to your head, sounds/lights from your phone interfering with your body’s rhythms as you sleep and also the temptation to pick up and check your phone during the night or early morning.

7. Keep your room cool. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 65° F or 18° C) with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.

8. Meditate. Meditation also can ease anxiety and prepare the mind and body for an evening of sleep. shutting off electronics 30 to 60 minutes before bed and sitting quietly, focusing on soft music or deep breathing.

9. Melatonin supplements. Melatonin is the hormone, which is produced by the brain in preparation for sleep, it is also available in pill and liquid form. Take between 1 and 3 milligrams 30 to 60 minutes before bed if you have trouble falling asleep, and immediately before if you have trouble staying asleep.

10. Zizyphus, Passionflower and Californian Poppy. Herbal remedies that have been tested and proven to improve insomnia and create well rested sleep.

I hope these ideas stimulate some thought around how you can improve your own sleep routine and support your overall health. If you know anyone who may benefit from this information please forward on this email or if you would like to make your own appointment to gain support around your sleep book here.