Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult – yet it’s just as important as eating healthily and getting the right exercise.

Sleep directly impacts physical and mental health, with a lack of it impacting your energy, productivity, brain function, emotional balance and even your weight.

Not getting enough sleep can have major consequences by impacting your personal relationships, professional career and overall mood.

So what can you do to ensure you’re getting the rest your body needs?


Tip 1: Associate the bedroom with sleep

The bedroom should be a place that you associate with sleep. Look to remove distractions from your bedroom, such as your TV and computer games, and ensure not to eat whilst in the room. If you work remotely, try to set up your office space in a different room – that way, when it comes to going to bed, your brain will automatically associate the bedroom with sleep, and start to switch off.


Tip 2: Be consistent with your sleep

Being consistent with your sleeping pattern will help your long-term sleep quality. Your body clock is set on a loop, so making a habit of going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day optimises your body’s internal clock and improve the quality of your sleep.


Tip 3: Increase natural light, decrease blue light

Getting the right amount of sunlight helps keep your body healthy, which in turn improves daytime energy as well as sleep quality and duration. In the same way, exposure to blue light can have the opposite effect – especially if you’re on your phone or watching the TV before bed. Effectively, blue light tricks the brain into thinking it’s still daytime, and that it needs to stay awake, which stops it from switching off and relaxing. Reduce blue light exposure by wearing glasses that block blue light, or simply put down your device an hour or two before bed.


Tip 4: Eat right

Eating dinner close to bedtime can cause stomach trouble and prevent you from falling asleep, so try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening. Avoid heavy foods, especially those that are rich in sugar as this can trigger your body to wake up at night, pulling you out of the important deep sleep stages.


Tip 5: Cut out the caffeine

Of course, we don’t mean completely – just before bedtime. Caffeine does have its benefits; with it proven to enhance focus, energy and performance; but when consumed later in the day, it can stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. In one study, it was found that consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bed significantly reduced quality of sleep – so if you do crave a cup of coffee in the evening, stick with the decaffeinated version.


Tip 6: Exercise during the day

Exercising regularly will help to burn off excess energy, which increases the amount of time your body spends in deep sleep. Again, it’s important to exercise at the right time – too close to bedtime, and your increased heart rate and blood pressure can negatively interfere with your sleep. Vigorous exercise should be completed in the morning or afternoon, with gentle stretching and yoga exercises closer to bedtime actually proven to have a positive impact on sleep.