Ensure a good night's sleep with expert top tips
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 (bonsecours.ie). 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 (Shen.ie). 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.
- Don't go to bed hungry. Warm milk, toast or cereal can aid relaxation.
- Relax your mind and body. Brian Colbert (digipill.com) 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.