June 16, 2024

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Expert’s top tips for a good night’s sleep include going outside

3 min read
Expert’s top tips for a good night’s sleep include going outside

A top expert has revealed six super tips to help people get the best from their night’s sleep. It’s more vital than ever with millions struggling mentally and therefore missing out on a much-needed rest.

Hannah Shore, who is a sleep knowledge and research manager at Silentnight, issued the advice after new studies from Aviva insurance revealed that around 16 million people in the UK suffer from sleepless nights. Two-thirds of these people have disrupted sleep, something which can greatly impact on people’s mental health.

Today marks the culmination of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, with Ms Shore now issuing a series of tips to help improve your journey to the land of nod. They’re tips that can also help your mental wellbeing too.

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As part of this year’s effort, the Mental Health Foundation said the theme for 2022’s Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness. Seen as a key driver in poor mental health, the numbers reported to be lonely in the UK has increased rapidly since the Covid-19 outbreak, but Ms Shore believes there are ways to tackle it – and this can be linked to sleep.

“It’s so important to consider how sleep can affect our mental wellbeing. Implementing small steps into your evening routine can really make the world of difference, from helping you have an undisturbed sleeping pattern to increasing your mood,” she said. “Loneliness has been a huge issue over the past couple of years and this can have a negative impact on mental health. Connecting with a friend, family member or neighbour can cheer you up instantly.”

But what are these top tips? Let’s find out.

Enjoy the outdoors

Going outside can really help give you a boost

Going outside to help your sleep might sound strange, but being exposed to natural daylight can help you out in more ways than one. This is because sunlight helps boost your mood and can increase energy levels too.

If you use up this new and renewed energy as well, it’ll make you more ready for sleep when your bedtime arrives. So perhaps it’s time for a stroll?

Keep to a bedtime schedule

It may sound simple, but routines are useful to help regulate the body’s mood. Therefore, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day programmes the body to sleep better, resulting in feeling more motivated and positive throughout the day.

Turn off the devices

Get away from your phone! Not forever of course, but keeping near screens at any point close to bedtime is a big no-no according to Ms Shore.

Here, people should turn off any devices or screens at least an hour before they hit the hay. This makes it easier to fall asleep and wake up the following day.

Wind down and clear the mind

Being calm before bed helps make sleep easier. Clearing the mind before you go to sleep is also something that can help your sleep quality too.

Whether it’s a relaxing bit of yoga, meditation or making lists that help remove the heavy thoughts, there are many methods that can help calm you down in time for bed. Some people even advocate making the next day’s lunch or picking out tomorrow’s clothes too – it’s up to you, but be calm!

Make sure the bed is right

This is simple, but it’s a good idea to put on your best Goldilocks impression as people need to ensure that their bed is just right. This means you should pick a good mattress and pillow.

Also regulate a comfortable room temperature. and it’s advisable to have lined curtains in your room to block out any unwanted light.

No afternoon naps

Ms Shore’s advice here is simple. Avoid late afternoon naps.

This is because daytime sleepiness can then have a major effect on the day’s night-time rest. However, if you have to have a short daytime nap, ensure it’s at midday because a little snooze here can boost memory, improve job performance, and lift the mood for the remainder of the day.

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