12 tips for healthy sleep
Matthew Walker's book is one that I falls into the very rare category of books that everyone would benefit from reading. We all know from personal experience the difference in how we feel when we've had a great nights sleep compared to an awful one. This great book tells us why and and just how important the message that our mind and body is trying to tell us.
At the end of the book he provides a 12 tip guide for healthy sleep which I hope he does not mind me giving a summary of here.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time. As creatures of habit a sleep schedule really benefits us and suggests setting an alarm to go to bed as well as wake up
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes most days is great but try not to exercise 2-3 hours before bed.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. It robs us of REM sleep and causes us to wake up in the middle of the night once it has worn off
- Avoid large meals and drinks late at night
- If possible avoid medicines that delay or disrupt sleep.
- Don't take naps after 3pm
- Relax before bed. Activities such as listening to music and reading are great
- Take a hot bath before bed. It can help you relax and the drop in body temperature when getting out is helpful to sleep
- Dark bedroom, Cool bedroom, Gadget free bedroom. If you have a clock turn the face away to stop you worrying about time
- Try to get outside in natural sunlight for 30 minutes each day. Daylight is key to regulating sleep patterns
- Don't lie in bed awake. If you are starting to feel anxious or worries after more than 20 minutes get up and do a relaxing activity instead