Each one of us probably has a completely different sleep pattern and it usually depends on our lifestyle; things like shift work and being a new parent can impact our sleep habits massively. For those of us who have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, it can be incredibly frustrating and even impact our functionality the next day. Lack of sleep is no laughing matter and can actually contribute to health problems further down the line. So, if you’re hoping to find some help and advice to getting a better night’s sleep, here are some tips for you.
If you work shifts
Working shifts can mean your sleep pattern is all over the place. Some shift work means you could work for a week consecutively, and then have a few days off. Hours will often vary too, meaning that no two days have the same routine. This can impact your sleep as it can be harder to fall asleep, and you have more chance of waking up through the night.
Working shifts means that you probably drink a lot of caffeine and go to sleep at different times through the week. To make sure your sleep routine is serving you properly, make sure you create a restful environment including comfortable bedding or even a snug mattress topper for extra effect.
Whatever time you need to go to bed, use the hour before sleep to wind down properly and try to sleep for the same amount of hours each night. If you feel sleepy through the day, consider taking a nap but for no longer than 40 minutes or so.
If you have young children
Busy mums will often complain that they are always tired, or don’t get enough time in bed. If this is you, you will probably find that you get to sleep quickly but you’ll wake up frequently through the night and struggle to drop back off to sleep. Rushing out for the school or nursery run, drinking coffee at all hours and exercising at night when the kids are asleep are all factors contributing to a poor night’s sleep.
Most parents will stay up late to make the most of the evening once the children are in bed, but consider going to bed a little earlier than normal. Exercising or eating too close to bedtime means that your sleep could be disrupted. You should also consider following a similar routine at the weekends; waking up at a similar time as in the week should help to reduce tiredness. Busy parents should remember to stay hydrated and fuelled throughout the day!
If you’re over 55
The older generation often suffer with waking up through the night due to temperature, their partner’s sleep behaviour and health problems such as arthritis. If you’re in an older age bracket, consider finding the right duvet that regulates temperature efficiently and consider an adjustable bed that adapts to both yours and your husband’s sleep postures.
The older generation tend to be early risers, so going to bed at a decent hour is important. Make sure your bedroom is an optimal environment for sleep and even take a bath or take part in a calming activity before bed.
If you’re jet-lagged
Business people who travel a lot for work will suffer from jet-lag at one point or another, which can really mess up your sleep routine. Through travelling, bedtimes will often vary and stress can be increased. Creating some regularity is key in this situation, no matter what country you’re in.
If you’re travelling to somewhere for less than 4 days, try to stay on UK time and catch up on sleep with naps if needs be. However, if you’re going away somewhere for longer, adjust your sleep pattern accordingly in the few days leading up to the trip. Go to bed a little earlier if you are travelling east, or go to bed a little later if you’re travelling west. Try to book flights that land in the evening.
Hopefully this helps if you’re struggling with a regular sleep pattern; after all, if you get a good night’s sleep you can take on the world!