Saturday 23 September 2017

Ensure a good night's sleep with expert top tips

Clock ticking on a missed night's sleep
Clock ticking on a missed night's sleep
Thinkstock Images

Chrissie Russell

One in five of us will suffer from insomnia, but why and what can we do to cure it?

  • Make the bedroom a sleep haven. "Bedrooms should be quiet, dark, not too hot or cold, well ventilated and used for sleep only," says Breege Leddy from the Insomnia Clinic ( Stop looking at phones two hours before bed.


  • Stick to a sleep routine. "That enjoyable weekend lie-in can make us feel more tired when we go back to our normal routine on Monday morning," warns acupuncturist Johanne Farrelly ( Power naps should also be avoided.


  • Avoid heavy meals, exercise, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine before bedtime and remember it's not just tea and coffee that contain caffeine – chocolate could be keeping you awake.
Scientists say a sunny day produces a light intensity of about 10,000 lux (a lux is a unit of luminance), whereas indoor office lighting typically produces only about 300 to 500 lux
  • Don't go to bed hungry. Warm milk, toast or cereal can aid relaxation.


  • Relax your mind and body. Brian Colbert ( advises: "Open your mouth wide and take a huge breath in as if to yawn – do this a few times and you will begin to yawn for real, helping convince your mind that it is sleep time." He adds: "Relax your body by drawing attention to every muscle in the body and tightening and loosening them while repeating the word 'soften' as you do in order to unwind."


  • Develop a 'pre-sleep' ritual of calming activities like listening to soothing music, reading, having a bath, burning lavender oil.


  • Don't lie there torturing yourself, if you can't sleep get up and do something.

Irish Independent

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