• How to get a good night’s sleep

    The best advice that anyone can give you when you have a problem is to sleep on it. 

    This is proven to be the ultimate way to soothe worries and refresh the body and mind. But if you struggle to get to sleep, then here are a few tips to help you out. 

    • Routine is essential – go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Keeping to a routine helps your biological clock. 
    • The key to looking and feeling good and functioning efficiently is getting around eight hours sleep a night. Make a commitment each night for a week to go to bed 10-20 minutes earlier than the night before until you are getting eight hours sleep. 
    • People with uncomfortable beds, which can cause muscular aches and back pain, sleep on average one hour less each night, the Sleep Assessment & Advisory Service in Edinburgh has found, so invest in a good mattress. 
    • Look at your sleep environment – think ‘cave’ – dark and cool. You need a bedroom with a balanced temperature. A room that is too hot will prevent you from sleeping but equally, a room that is too cold affects sleep too. 
    • Don’t drink anything that contains caffeine after 3pm. This will reduce stimulus to the brain and allow you to replenish your fluids during the evening. 
    • Eat carbohydrates for supper – carbs make the body release serotonin, which makes us drowsy. 
    • Increase the magnesium in your diet – a supplement of 500mg of magnesium a day helps increase sleep levels and the quality of the snooze according to researchers at Tehran University. Eat more dark green leafy veggies, Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds as they contain lots of magnesium. 
    • Avoid sugary treats at bedtime, as they can cause erratic blood sugar levels and this can make the body produce the stress hormone cortisol. 
    • Make sure you don’t watch TV or look at your PC, tablet or phone 30 minutes before bedtime. You need to relax before you can sleep and to avoid too many distractions. 
    • Also, it has been proven that the blue light from screens prevents the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, which encourages sleep. In the absence of blue light, melatonin production increases and, we get sleepy. 
    • If you find it tricky to sleep, get out of bed and make yourself a chamomile tea, sip it and breathe deeply and calmly.