Have you been struggling to get a decent night’s sleep over the festive period?

Have you been struggling to get a decent night’s sleep over the festive period?

2020 hasn’t been the most peaceful year all round, and the holiday season can bring its own special stresses that keep you up at night. Not to mention the evening events and all the food and drink that can interfere with your sleep.

So let’s get into good sleep habits for 2021 and make this the year of feeling fresh and energised when you wake up in the morning!

  1. Ban the screens

Find yourself scrolling through Facebook when you’re settling down in bed? Or is the last thing you do at night is sneak in one last episode of your favourite TV show? All that screen time is majorly addictive, but it’s also interfering with your sleep patterns. The blue light emitted from these devices affects your ability to fall asleep and to sleep deeply.

Try to avoid screens for one to two hours before you go to sleep. Sound like a challenge? It will probably take some getting used to, but there are much better uses for that time which will vastly improve the quality of your sleep. Which brings us on to our second tip…

  1. Get a good night routine

Now that you’re not going to be watching TV or browsing online before you go to bed, you have time for activities that will help you wind down ready to sleep soundly.

A few things you might want to incorporate into your nightly routine are:

  • A warm bath for relaxation
  • Meditation or mindfulness exercises to calm your mind
  • Writing to do lists for the next day to organise your thoughts so they’re not racing round your brain when you’re trying to drift off
  • Light stretches to relax your muscles (keep it gentle though – exercise that gets your heart-rate up will have the opposite effect!)
  • Reading a book
  • Listening to relaxing music
  1. Kick the habits

Caffeine, alcohol and smoking are all bad for your sleep. Smoking can also increase your risk of sleep apnoea, so look into methods that will help you quit.

You might think that alcohol is helping you drift off, but it’s actually interfering with your sleep cycle, so the sleep you get won’t be anywhere near as restful.

Avoid caffeine in the afternoons as it can interfere with your sleep up to twelve hours after you’ve consumed it! Replace that evening cup of tea or coffee with a relaxing camomile tea, which will help you feel calm and ready to doze.

  1. Create a sleep haven

Make your bedroom the perfect place to get a restful night. Make sure your curtains are heavy enough to block out any light from outside so that the room is dark. Remove any gadgets, TVs or anything else that emits light or makes unnecessary noise.

Keeping the room tidy and clean will help you feel calm and relaxed when you go in there to sleep. Burning essential oils, like lavender, also creates an environment that will help you fall into a deep sleep.

  1. Get active

Research shows that regular exercise helps you to sleep better at night and feel more energetic during the day. Even better, exercise increases the amount of time you spend in deep, restorative sleep. And that’s the kind we want!

The more vigorously you exercise, the better; but even just ten minutes of walking each day will make a difference. It might take a few months before you see the full effects, so the sooner you start getting into the habit, the sooner you’ll be reaping the benefits.

Are you getting into healthier habits for 2021? Come and tell us all about them on our Facebook page!

About the author:

Dr. Andrew Arnold is a Chiropractor at Back In Motion – Cranbourne (formally Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre)

Category: Chiropractor

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