7 proven ways to sleep better and longer
ONE: A couple of hours of sunlight every day, or artificial bright light in winter, can improve the quality and duration of sleep, scientists have discovered. It keeps your body’s natural clock (the circadian rhythm) healthy and in one study, exposure to two hours of bright light a day increased sleep by the same amount.
TWO: Blue light from TVs and phone screens tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime, encouraging you to stay awake. So no telly for at least two hours before bedtime – and turn off your mobile!
THREE: Try to get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at similar times. Your body likes to have a regular rhythm to follow. Otherwise your levels of levels of melatonin, the hormone which signals your brain to sleep, can be affected.
FOUR: Our bodies produce melatonin at night, and studies have shown that drinking alcohol before bedtime disrupts your sleep patterns and can increase snoring – keeping your partner awake, too! So try not to drink two hours before bedtime.
FIVE: Research shows that the temperature of your bedroom can make it harder to sleep. An ideal temperature is around 20C (72F) so apart from the winter months, it can help to sleep with a window open.
SIX: Exercise is scientifically proven to make you sleep better. One study showed that exercise during the day almost halved the time it took to drop off and provided an extra 40 minutes of sleep. But try not to over-stimulate your body in the two hours before bedtime.
SEVEN: Create a relaxing bedtime routine to calm your mind. Have a hot bath, read a book, listen to nice music – best of all, listen to your Chillpod and then your Slimpod. You’ll fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly if your mind is at ease.