Change a few daily habits and discover a better night’s sleep.
Improving the quality of your sleep could be as simple as changing a few habits.
Take a day off. One day’s rest every week improves productivity. Set aside a day, probably in the weekend, for fun and relaxation. Involve the family, so you get some quality time together.
Improve your sleeping arrangements. Make sure your bedroom is suitable for getting a good night’s rest with block-out curtains and a decent bed. Most bed manufacturers recommend a new bed every 10 years.
Upgrade your pillow. Get a decent pillow that supports your neck properly. Make sure your bedding isn’t too warm – your core temperature needs to drop one or two degrees for a proper night’s sleep.
Silence the snorer. If you have a snoring partner, kick them into the spare room or use ear plugs.
Step away from the caffeine. Avoid coffee after midday. It’s a stimulant that needs time to wear off before you try to sleep. Remember that tea and some soft drinks have caffeine in them. Try decaf coffee or fruit/herbal teas.
Get off the quad bike. Walk the farm for at least 30 minutes each day. Exercise during the day helps you to sleep better at night.
Avoid late night snacks. Avoid eating or drinking alcohol just before bedtime. Making your body process food and alcohol increases your chance of waking up in the night and makes it harder to go back to sleep. It’s fine to have a herbal tea before bed
No screens before bed. Lit screens – TV, smartphones and tablets – cause melatonin levels to drop, making it harder to fall asleep. After watching in the evening, have a shower, read a book or listen to music for half an hour before attempting sleep.
Think happy thoughts. Park any issues and worries until tomorrow. Negative thoughts make sleep more difficult. Think about the good things that happened in the day and go to sleep with a positive thought in mind.
Chronic insomnia? Talk to the doc
If you follow all of these tips and still have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, lying in bed willing yourself to nod off can make the situation worse. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor – insomnia affects about one in four New Zealanders at one time or another. Your GP can help.