Better sleep for a better you

Better sleep for a better you

Sleep is essential to good mental wellness. A good night’s sleep can make you feel refreshed, positive and able to cope with difficult or stressful situations better.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you can feel moody and irritable – and over time this is likely to affect your relationships with people, your work and your mental wellbeing.

 Radio Times has teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you affordable, private health insurance. Get £50 FREE M&S vouchers free when you take out a plan

How much sleep is enough?
There’s no exact number of how many hours of sleep you need. Different people need different amounts of sleep- it all depends on your age, your lifestyle, your genes and what you’re used to. Generally, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep but the exact amount varies by individual.
The easiest way to check if you’re getting a sufficient amount is to ask yourself if you feel tired and irritable during the day – if so, you may need more sleep. If you get less than the average but feel mostly happy, alert and productive during the day, you’re probably getting enough.

Here’s some tips to help you achieve that perfect night's sleep...

Stay active during the day
Getting regular exercise during the day will help you to feel tired at night. Being active increases your metabolism and helps against stress and anxiety, which in turn will improve your sleep. Try to exercise earlier in the day and avoid late night workouts, as you need time to wind down and relax afterwards.

Watch what you eat and drink
Don’t have a heavy or spicy meal just before going to bed, as your body needs time to digest the food before sleep. But don’t go to bed hungry: a light snack before bedtime is ideal. Try not to have coffee, black tea or any other drinks that contain caffeine after dinner, as it will make it harder for you to get to sleep. A glass of wine may help you to fall asleep, but alcohol can affect the quality of your sleep, making you more likely to wake up during the night.

Make your bedroom more sleep-friendly
Create a calm sleeping environment by turning your bedroom in to a dark, quiet, cool and comfortable haven – you may want to try black-out curtains, eye shades or ear plugs. Remove any distractions that may keep you awake, and keep your bedroom free from computers, TVs and phones.

Develop a bedtime ritual
Try to develop a relaxing night-time routine that prepares your body and mind for sleep. It could be taking a hot bath, reading a book, listening to calming music or having a milky drink – but try to stay away from bright lights and heated arguments just before bedtime.

Don’t toss and turn – get out of bed instead
If you can’t fall asleep after half an hour, get up and do something else instead – try something relaxing like reading or listening to music. Only go back to bed when you feel tired.

Try stopping weekend lie-ins
Keeping a regular sleep schedule can help you get into a good sleeping routine. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, even if you’re not feeling tired. Resist having naps during the day and don’t sleep in at the weekend.

Keep a sleep diary
It can be difficult to work out why you have problems sleeping. Keeping a sleep diary can help you track when you fall asleep and wake up, how many times you wake up during the night and how rested you feel in the morning. After a week, reflect on your notes and try to work out what helps you sleep and what makes it worse.

 Radio Times has teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you affordable, private health insurance. Get £50 FREE M&S vouchers free when you take out a plan

AXA PPP Healthcare

AXA Health

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here