To get a good night’s sleep, your pre-bed routine is key. Sleep is massively important to our health and poor sleep can impact our wellbeing, causing issues such as obesity, depression and heart disease.1
So what are the best things to do before you hit the hay to help your health and get a good night’s sleep?
Cut out any caffeine-based drinks
Whilst many of us need a coffee to get going in the morning, having caffeine later in the day can impact your sleep.
Caffeine promotes alertness and stimulates our nervous system2, so to help you get a good night’s sleep, it’s best to avoid any caffeine-based drinks in the build up to bedtime. Once in the body, it can start to have a stimulating effect on your body within 15 minutes3 and its effects can persist for several hours. Studies suggest it takes around six hours for just half the amount of caffeine ingested to leave your system.4
Get the right temperature
You may think a warm, cosy bedroom is a good way to send you off to sleep, but this isn’t the case, and equally, a cold bedroom could hamper your sleep quality. It’s thought that 16 to 18oC is the ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep.5 Temperatures over 24oC could cause a restless sleep, whilst a colder room of around 12oC will make it more difficult to drop off.5
Reduce your blue light exposure before bed
A top tip to help you prepare for bedtime is to avoid any unnatural light, in particular from your phone, so if you read or reply to messages late at night or if you have a habit of scrolling through social media just before bed, try to nip this in the bud.
To make sure you have the best chance of a good night’s sleep, it’s recommended not to look at your phone for around 30 minutes to an hour before you go to bed.6 But if you just can’t resist the temptation, smartphones often have a built-in night mode that you can activate, which limits the blue spectrums of light emitted by the screen.7
Don’t exercise too close to bedtime
Although exercise can help us feel tired, physical activity just before bedtime can have an impact on quality of sleep. Exercising increases the heart rate and core body temperature, causing your body to produce adrenaline – all of which can cause poor sleep.8
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