✳️ Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time, whether it’s a weekday or the weekend. Even if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep don’t be tempted to sleep in.
✳️ Darkness aids the release of the hormone melatonin, which is needed to help us sleep. Turn off main lights and keep lighting low in the hour before going to bed.
✳️ It’s also important not to disrupt the release of melatonin with laptops, phones and tablets (and any other devices with blue light-emitting diodes) so avoid them before bed, too.
✳️ Your body needs to drop its temperature by about 1 degree Celsius to initiate sleep. Keep your bedroom cool and set the thermostat to about 18/18.5 degrees to promote healthy sleep.
✳️ Don’t stay in bed if you’re still awake after 15-20 minutes. Get up and go into another room to stop your brain associating being in bed with being awake, rather than about sleep.
✳️ Read under a dim light – no screens, no food – and return to bed when you are feeling sleepy.
✳️ Avoid caffeine after 2pm and don’t drink alcohol before going to bed. A nightcap doesn’t aid healthy sleep, it simply sedates your brain, which isn’t natural sleep.
Prof. Matthew Walker
Sleep scientist and author of ‘Why We Sleep’
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