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Saturday, 1st September

3 Positive Things To Do Before Climbing Into Bed Every Night

Did you know, these days we sleep for roughly 90 minutes less every night than we did in the 1920s? With the growth of modern-day distractions like mobile phones, it’s become increasingly difficult to switch off. Whether it’s staying up late to answer work emails, binge watching a new TV series, or just being addicted to mindlessly scrolling through social feeds in bed, many of us struggle to drop off as soon as we hit the pillow.

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and mental well-being, so train your body to see ‘sleep time’ as a good thing. If you find yourself staring at the ceiling, watching the clock tick closer to the morning, or tossing and turning all night long – it’s time to make a change. Here are three suggestions on how to unwind before bed and promote a more peaceful and dream filled sleep.

Create an atmosphere

Studies have shown that a clutter free bedroom leads to a clutter free mind, so aim to have a tidy bedroom before you sleep. Your ideal sleeping environment is cool, dark and quiet, so do your best to eliminate noises from your room and invest in some black out blinds if necessary. A comfortable bed will make all the difference, so make sure to flip your mattress at least once a year and replace it every 9 to 10 years.

An hour before you go to bed, crank up the atmosphere and transform your bedroom into a tranquil space by dimming the lights, lighting a few candles, spraying lavender mist around your pillows - anything you find relaxing.

Unwind your mind

Mindfulness meditation can positively impact both physical and mental health. Research has shown daily meditation, even just a few minutes, can be effective in reducing stress, increasing focus and improving sleep quality.

Taking a few moments to reflect on the day, breathe deeply and clear your mind, will help you unwind and be ready to rest. Download an app like ‘Headspace,’ which provides sessions of guided meditation for each night before you sleep.

Alternatively, spend ten minutes performing a couple of yoga poses (YouTube has plenty of tutorials available.) Yoga will lengthen and stretch your muscles and joints, relieving any tension and reducing your bodily stress - an evening essential for those who spend their days hunched over a desk!

Immerse yourself in a good book

Remember when you were a child and your parents would tuck you into bed and read you a story? There’s a reason behind this. A study by the University of Sussex showed that just six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68% (that’s more relaxing than listening to your favourite music or having a cup of tea!) helping to ready the body for sleep.

We know it’s tempting to scroll through your friend’s updates before bed or to get lost browsing the deepest corners of YouTube, but the most beneficial thing for your brain is to invest in a bedtime read and switch off from the digital world.

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