Develop a routine
By getting up and going to bed at the same time each day, you’ll soon develop a routine. Having a regular sleeping pattern will help your mind learn when it’s time to switch off, and when it’s time to wake up. Although it’s tempting to have a lie in on a day off, this can hinder your regular routine, so try not to be in bed for longer than necessary.
Create your perfect sleeping space
Having a clear and well-kept sleeping space can really help you unwind. Make sure your bedroom is tidy – having a cluttered room can often make it difficult to relax, as your mind will focus on objects dotted around.
Have a milky drink
A milky drink can help you to relax after a busy day. You may also find some herbal teas to be soothing, but be sure to avoid caffeine as this will have the opposite effect!
Being too full before bed can stop you from sleeping properly, but it’s also important not go to bed feeling hungry as this can also be a hindrance. Some research, although limited, suggests that food containing tryptophan can help encourage sleep. It’s found in milk, as well as in bananas, poultry, honey and oats, so try incorporating these into your evening meal.
Write down your thoughts
If you often find yourself lying awake at night worrying about the day’s events, keep a pen and paper next to your bed so you can write down the thoughts preventing you from sleeping. You can even schedule a time over the next few days when you’re going to deal with these issues. For example, if you’re worried about something that happened at work that day, perhaps you’ll decide to think about it at 3pm the next day, and not before.
Creating a schedule really helps you organise your thoughts. By writing them down, you’re giving yourself closure from the day’s events.
Read a book
Reading a book is a great way to switch off. It might be a good idea to choose a book with a generally cheerful plot, as a thriller or scary book may just keep you up at night! It’s also important to read somewhere other than in bed, making sure your bed is kept as a space for sleeping.
Listen to music
Listening to some soothing music can also help you to relax. Some people find meditating to music also helps them to feel at ease. As with reading, it’s important to ensure you’re in a different room to the one you sleep in while you do this.
Feeling warm and cosy can help you drift off after a long day. You may find having a bath does the trick, but it’s also a good idea to make sure your bedroom is cosy too. If your room is too warm, it might be worth buying fan or sleeping under a sheet rather than a duvet. If it’s too noisy, perhaps try some ear plugs, or if it's too light, you can also try some blackout curtains.
As well as hints and tips to help you drift off, there are also plenty of things you may want to completely avoid! Check out our resources for more info.