Getting a good night’s sleep

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Getting a good night’s sleep can have a positive impact on your mood.

Sometimes people tend to worry about not getting enough sleep. The amount of sleep that you need varies depending on your age and health. A common myth is that everyone needs at least 8 hours of sleep, which may be a lot more than you actually need. Try to focus on sleeping rather than worrying about not getting enough sleep.
If you feel tired during the day try not to sleep as this can disturb your natural rhythm and make it difficult to sleep at night.
Try to think about your surroundings as well.

  • Is your bedroom too noisy or have too much light coming in?
  • Is the room clean and tidy or quite messy?
  • Is the bed and mattress comfortable?
  • Is the room too hot or too cold?
  • Try not to eat or drink anything that contains caffeine within 4 hours of going to sleep. Drinking caffeinated drinks before bed time or eating a heavy meal can make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Nicotine also acts as a stimulant so where possible try not to smoke within 4 hours of going to sleep.
  • Medicines can also interfere with the amount and quality of sleep that you are getting. If you are using medication, it may be worth checking with your GP if this may be causing any sleeping difficulties if you are experiencing any.
  • Sometimes people may use sleeping tablets or alcohol to help them sleep. Although these may help in the short term, it can cause long term difficulties in sleeping patterns. Try not to use alcohol to help you sleep and if you are going to use sleeping tablets try to keep this to short term use only.
  • Do go to sleep and get up at a regular time.
  • Do wind down before bedtime.
  • Do go to bed when you are actually feeling tired. Do leave your bed and do a relaxing activity if you can not sleep within 30 minutes of going to bed.
  • Do exercise regularly, but not too close to bed time.
  • Do create a comfortable sleeping environment.
  • Do check if medications may be interfering with your sleep
  • Don’t worry about not getting enough sleep.
  • Don’t worry about things before you go to sleep
  • Don’t read a book, watch tv or eat whilst you are in bed.
  • Don’t eat or drink caffeine within 4 hours of going to sleep.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol within 4 hours of going to sleep. Don’t sleep during the day if you feel tired.
  • Don’t sleep longer to make up for lost sleep.
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