Sleeptember | 7 Sleep Hacks to Get You Peacefully Dreaming

Shot of a mature couple having coffee in bed

A regular good night’s sleep has been implicated in improved memory, a reduced risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and a longer life expectancy.

So it is no wonder that we all crave those blissful 8 hours. Rather than reaching for tablets to help you sleep, here are nine sleep hacks to help get you peacefully dreaming.

1. Develop a sleep routine

Tired woman turning off the alarm clock in her bed

Pic: iStockphoto

Firstly, ensure that you go to bed at the same time every night, and as tempting as it may be to have a lie-in, it is also important to get up at the same time each morning.

Secondly, become a creature of habit, repeating the same bedtime routine every night to help to regulate your inbuilt body clock, (the circadian rhythm) and give your brain the cue it may need to know when it’s time to unwind and go to sleep.

2. Avoid white light before bed

Watching TV or using your computer or phone before bed may be considered a good way to relax before bed, but it can sometimes be detrimental. Namely because the bright light emitted, may act as an environmental cue to your body that it is wrongly day time, and therefore hinder any biological desire to fall asleep.

3. Take a warm bath

It’s not just an old wives’ tale that a bath before bed will send you to sleep. As well as the relaxation-factor it provides, research has shown that if you take a warm bath one to two hours before bed, the rise in temperature, followed by the drop-in temperature when you then enter a colder room induces sleep.

Close up portrait of young woman relaxing in hot foam bath at home.Low key blue ambient with decorative candles along bath tub.

Pic: iStockphoto

4. Listen to… electronic music

A state of relaxation can be achieved in many ways including by reading, or listening to music. The influence of music in relaxation has becoming increasingly studied – most will listen to classical music or piano playlists; however, an acclaimed DJ is encouraging people to turn to electronic music. DJ Tom Middleton, has created a sleep album called ‘Sleep Better’ designed to help Britons drift off, and it’s backed by science!

5. Reschedule your potential nightmare worries

If anxieties keep popping into your head, stopping you from falling asleep, I suggest you acknowledge and accept them, but avoid feeding them with too much of your time. Rather than ruminating over these worries, I often recommend writing them down and picking them back up in the morning with a fresh head.

Side view portrait of a happy woman relaxing sitting on a couch on vacations in an apartment on the beach

Pic: iStockphoto

6. Learn relaxation techniques

Gentle relaxation exercises like simple yoga stretches, combined with steady breathing can reduce your blood pressure and heart rate to help you relax. Other practises such as mindfulness and meditation may be useful to get into a calming state.

7. Pamper yourself

Self-care can also be a big part of relaxation – pampering yourself in the evening with soothing oils or body lotion can make starting a bedtime routine an enjoyable process. You should also try a lavender or jasmine scented candle whilst enjoying your warm bath, or a diffuser in your bedroom to de-stress, which creates the perfect ambience before you drift off into a peaceful slumber.

Mirror reflection of a young woman laughing and applying a face mask to her face

Pic: iStockphoto