1. Wake up at the same time every day
Getting a better night’s sleep doesn’t just rely on heading to bed at a reasonable time.
Our bodies function on what is known as a ‘circadian rhythm,’ which rely on consistent daily routines. Without consistency in our sleep, we can wake up feeling sluggish and overtired, even after a sleep-in.
It’s important to choose a wake up time that works for you, both on weekdays and weekends.
2. Make your bedroom as dark as possible
A dark room is essential to providing an uninterrupted sleep. Even a soft glowing light, such as your alarm clock, can cause a disruption to your sleep cycle.
Sleep specialists from Harvard University suggest that lowering the brightness around 2-3 hours before bed, then removing all light emitting devices off at least an hour before sleeping, to allow your melatonin levels to return to normal.
If your bedroom is susceptible to outdoor lights at night, such as moonlight, streetlamps and passing cars, investing in quality blackout curtains can prevent these light sources from disrupting your sleep.
3. Avoid exercise too close to bedtime
Regular exercise is great for your overall sleep health, but the time of day can impact its quality.
Exercise regulates your metabolism and helps set your body’s rhythm in motion, but it also has the effect of releasing 'wakeful hormones' such as endorphins. Studies at the University of California have shown that those who plan their exercise around midday have improved quality of sleep over those who regularly work out late at night.
4. Introduce plants into the bedroom
As well as providing your house with splashes of colour and vibrance, indoor plants can also provide your home with many health benefits, which may lead to a better night’s sleep.
Studies from Wheeling University have discovered that gerberas and aloe vera can act as natural air purifiers, while peace lilies are terrific at drawing moisture out of the air and improving humidity levels. Jasmine and lavender can not only improve the scene of your room, but may also assist in relaxing the mind before bed.
If you can find the space and time to grow and nurture plants in your bedroom, they may repay you with an enhanced sleep environment and experience.
5. Avoid drinking coffee too close to bedtime
It’s best to avoid coffee for up to at least six hours before bed.
According to sleep specialists from the American Board of Sleep Medicine, stimulants such as coffee can affect the quality of your sleep and may worsen snoring and sleep apnoea, and, most importantly, make it difficult to fall asleep.