Friday 17 August 2018

Five ways to boost your dream sleep

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Stock image

Sleep expert Lucy Wolfe says she's a massive advocate of the pre-sleep ritual. As a paediatric sleep consultant, Wolfe says it doesn't matter what age you are, it's never too late to get your sleep back on track. "It's a bit like fitness - you can improve at any age," she says. Here are her top tips to make sure you get a good night's sleep.

● Make sure you get enough exercise during the day so you're tired at bedtime. Don't eat your evening meal too late and avoid strenuous exercise late in the evening.

● No caffeine after 2pm as it stays in the system for up to eight hours. Avoid alcohol too - it might make you feel sleepy, but as it courses through the system it interrupts sleep.

● Begin your pre-sleep ritual 40 minutes before you go to bed. This includes doing things like getting off electronic devices and dimming the lights. Wolfe explains that light causes disruption to our melatonin levels, a natural hormone made in the body which increases when the sun goes down, so it's important to switch off and unplug.

● Prepare your body for sleep by doing some gentle stretches, some reading or listening to music. Wolfe says this preparation allows you to step out of the busyness of life.

● No phone or gadgets in the bedroom. Buy a battery-operated alarm clock and keep your phone out of the room so you are not tempted to check it during the night.

Irish Independent

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