Can’t get to sleep. What should you do?

Sleeping is so important to our health and performance at work and when I read an article recently (about the problems people face sleeping) it struck a cord as I don’t often sleep myself and have tried most things, so here are some tips that may help. You need complete darkness – no television in the bedroom, complete quiet, not too warm etc and of course a decent bed. Having said that mind, what the heck is a “good” bed!

I’ve read that a bed should be replaced every 10 years although more recent research says 7 years and I can understand the later as we spend a lot of time in our beds, indeed a third of our life!

Of course you shouldn’t take the look of your bed as confirmation it’s in good condition and with the average spend on a bed being a bit under £600 (Sleepeezee), but if you do replace it and still find you’re not sleeping there are several things you can do to help you get off to sleep before you resort to sleeping tablets.

If you’re taking medication, you should check on the box or with your doctor to ensure that it’s not causing sleep issues. Certainly it is not unheard of for a combination of certain medicines to do so.

One major cause of insomnia be it mild or significant, is stress. Modern life is so full of stress and there are many people who regretfully suffer with it. The first thing is to recognize and accept you are struggling with stress and work to eliminate it or at the very least reduce it. A lady I know who is a very highly qualified psychologist and therapist said to me once, that people can always move away from what’s causing them stress, they just need to accept the consequences of doing so.

Importantly though, just taking small steps to reduce stress and trying not to think or talk about problems just before bed time can help you get off to sleep better.

Drinking is another thing to consider too and not just alcohol, which can keep you awake, but coffee and tea are both stimulants (except Rooibos of course, that wonderful fragrant South African tea that is naturally decaffeinated) so best to keep to milky drinks before bed.

Whilst keeping fit is really important for your health, surprisingly, heavy exercise just before bed is not the best thing as your body might not be ready to relax, so perhaps you should think about training earlier and that goes for your brain too. Try not to keep your brain active before bed, put that crossword down, switch off the computer game and give your brain time to chill out also.

Darkness is important too, try to make your bedroom as dark as possible. It’s been shown that Eskimos’ sleep patterns change as the seasons change, more dark and they sleep for longer, longer days and they’re up and hunting. In simple terms daylight tells our brains it time to be up and doing things and in the same way night time and darkness tells our brain it’s time to sleep.

Last (for my little piece anyway) but not least, temperature; It’s been well documented that if your bedroom is too warm you’ll struggle to stay comfortable and slip off to sleep, so consider turning the heating down in your bedroom.

Well I hope some of these ideas trigger a thought for you and wish you a wonderful restful and re-generating nights sleep.



avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Formerly Finance and Operations Director of anmarketing agency. Now luckily semi-retired. Amateur interior design buff, constantly experimenting on my own home (much to the chargrins of hubby) and passionate about anything to do with home interiors and improvements. Wish my house was bigger!

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Posts by Alexandra Eager (49)