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Thursday, 2nd January

Kickstart 2020 with a Sleep Routine you can stick to. Our top tips for creating a perfect bedtime routine

Do you struggle to remember the last time you had a good night's sleep? It could have something to do with your bedtime routine. 

The first month of the new year is the perfect time to start making changes for the better, and more importantly changes that you can stick to for the rest of the year. A bad night's sleep can really affect your day, so why not try our top tips to refresh your own bedtime routine and reap the rewards for the rest of the year. 

1. Keep regular sleeping hours

The NHS recommends that adults should aim for between 6-9 hours of sleep every night. Start by working out what time you need to set the alarm for, then work backwards to figure out when you need to schedule in bedtime to get at least 6 hours. 

Although it's tempting to try to catch up on missed sleep by lying in at the weekend, it could actually have a detrimental effect on your sleeping patterns. It’s important to be consistent with your sleep and wake up times, so your brain can properly regulate your body clock.

2. Wind down

Although spending time to wind down is most commonly associated with children, adults can also benefit from winding down before going to bed. Whether it’s taking a warm bath, reading a book or practicing some mindfulness, taking some “me” time before bed can trigger your brain into thinking that it’s time for sleep. 

Sleep researchers at Baylor University in the US, have found that a great way to kick start bedtime is to write tomorrow’s to do list. Offloading your anxiety and stress about up-coming tasks is scientifically proven to help you fall asleep quicker. 

3. Create a sleep friendly environment

Creating a comfortable and relaxing space to sleep is an important part of your sleep routine. Going to bed in an untidy and cluttered room can affect your ability to drift off to sleep. 

Try tidying away any mess before you get into bed, lighting a lavender scented candle and dimming the lights to create a calm and peaceful environment to fall asleep in. 

4. Banish the phone from the bedroom

Using phones or tablets before bed can negatively impact your ability to fall asleep. The blue light that’s emitted from gadget screens restrains the production of melatonin - the hormone that controls our circadian rhythm - making it harder for us to fall asleep.

Sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan recommends taking small steps to implement a digital detox. Try banishing your phone or tablet from the bedroom, or try not to use your phone if you wake up during the night. 

5. Pay attention to what you eat and drink

What you consume during the day can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. According to sleep expert and author of The Good Sleep Guide, Sammy Margo, we should be eating foods that we more commonly associate with breakfast before bed. Bananas, almonds and oats are all tasty foods which help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Sammy also recommends avoiding coffee and alcohol before bedtime, so try swapping your evening coffee (or night cap!) for a hot cup of Benenox before bed and reap the rewards in the morning. 

If you have some top tips of your own, be sure to share them with us on our Facebook and Instagram. 

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