Health & wellbeing

How to sleep easy

Struggling to drift off? Get the perfect night’s sleep with our expert tips…

Sleep quantity and quality is a hot topic in the health world, but according to The Sleep Council, 22 per cent of people in the UK struggle with poor sleep – which can be affected by stress, family and work worries, and even environmental factors such as light and noise.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! There are plenty of easy ways to improve your chances of catching good-quality ZZZs…

Fit in a workout

You already know that it’s beneficial to your health, but exercise can also help you sleep better. In fact, people who exercise five to six times per week are least likely to take medication to aid sleep – and 32 per cent of us who exercise daily report good-quality sleep on most nights. And it doesn’t have to be an intense workout – just walking around the block a few times will do!

Go for decaf

If you’re regularly struggling to fall asleep, consider limiting the amount of caffeine you drink in the afternoon and evening. Don’t just switch to decaffeinated coffees and teas, either – swap fizzy drinks for no added sugar squashes and reduce your intake of alcohol, too. Stimulants that contain caffeine and sugar are thought to disrupt sleep, even when consumed well before bedtime.

Cool down

A calm and relaxed sleeping environment is one of the best ways to encourage better sleep. Try investing in high-quality sheets and pillows for a more luxury feel, consider changing out your old mattress and keep your bedroom at a cool 16-18°C for optimal comfort. A room that’s too warm or too cold can interrupt sleep, as your body heat is at its lowest levels when you’re asleep – temperatures over 24°C are thought to be too hot, while anything under 12°C is too cool for good sleep.