Hibernate Before Bed
Turn off any laptops, TVs, phones and electronic devices before you get into bed. 2 hours before is recommended but try starting with 30 minutes and build up from there.
Screens, particularly when bright, essentially wake up your brain, they affect the hormones that cause your brain to be alert. Instead, you could try reading a book, getting prepared for the next day or just being sociable and speaking to your family or friends.
Have A Hot Shower
This will help both your muscles and mind relax, heat up your body and release some tension before you get into bed, just make sure you have a dressing gown or pajamas ready to get into afterwards!
Keep A Notebook And Pen Beside Your Bed
It’s so easy to overthink things and often, people find they have lots of thoughts running through their heads and preventing them from sleeping.
One of the best ways to combat this is keep a pen and paper next to your bed and write down everything as you think of it.
Once you’re in bed, there’s nothing you can to do change or fix anything that has arisen throughout the day and because you’ve now written it down, you know you will remember to think about it in the morning.
Focus On Your Breathing
Focusing on your breathing not only helps to block out your thoughts and calm your mind, but it also moves your body towards relaxation.
You might need to experiment with these to begin with but choose some deep breathing exercises to help slow down your heart rate and relax your muscles, helping to ease your body into sleep.
Go To Sleep At The Same Time Every Night
This will help your body’s internal clock regulate and you’ll get a better quality of sleep. Much like a baby has to have a set napping routine, adults should also have a set bedtime routine.
Additionally, try not to sleep in, even at the weekend or after a late night as it will upset your internal clock and you will eventually feel slightly jet lagged. If you’re tired, rather than lying in, have a nap rather…babies nap, so should we!
Of course, there are lots of other things you can do to help. For example, make sure you get enough exercise, don’t drink caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime and don’t eat huge meals late at night, but the above are a good place to start.
Iona Bruce is a gym instructor, personal trainer in training, competitive trampolinist, and weightlifter from Glasgow. Her blog www.ionabfit.com shares fitness advice, workouts, lifestyle tips, ways to keep active and recipes which are easy to recreate at home. She is currently collaborating with The Great Run Group and aims to eventually become a strength and conditioning coach for athletes. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.