It’s generally recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. For teenagers, this rises to eight to ten, while younger children should get between ten and eleven hours a night. When thinking about your ideal sleep schedule, make sure you leave plenty of time to get up and ready the next day: if you find it hard to leave your bed in the morning, it could be a sign that you need to go to bed earlier!
If you have not been sleeping well for a while, bear in mind that it may take a few days to work off the accumulated “sleep debt” that comes from several restless nights in a row. Keep to your routine and your body will soon settle into it.
It’s also important to try to stick to it on weekends too – although we all like a long lie in, sleeping for too long can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Still having trouble falling asleep at the times you want to? Try the following:
Regular daily exercise is very effective at helping your body and mind to relax later on when you’re trying to sleep.
Have a pre-bed routine
Reading for an hour, soaking in a bath or listening to calming music (or all three) will help you wind down and, done regularly, can train your body into knowing it’s time for sleep.
Get your sleeping space right
Make sure your bedroom is cool, comfortable, dark and quiet. Try to avoid having distractions like TVs or games consoles in the same room.
Avoid stimulants and daytime napping
Stay away from coffee and cigarettes in the hours before sleeping, and try not to nap during the day.