The Truth about Sleep: 6 ways to get better shut eye

Having trouble sleeping? Try these tricks recommended by the BBC's sleep survey

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If you’re one of the 70 per cent of people who say they’re not getting enough quality sleep, then take this challenge. Choose just one technique and do it for at least three days, preferably a week. If it doesn’t help, move on to another.

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1. Bathing: take a dip before turning in

Have a warm bath or shower one to two hours before going to bed, then allow yourself to cool. The act of cooling should trigger sleepiness.

2. Breathing in: through the nose…

Controlling your breathing can reduce stress. This approach is known as 4—2—4…

– Breathe in deeply through your nose while mentally counting to four.

– Hold your breath to a count of two.

– Breathe out through your mouth to a count of four.

– Try doing this for three to four minutes. It should feel relaxing.

3. Eating: Get fruity at bedtime

Eat two kiwi fruit an hour before bed. A study conducted over four weeks found that this improved the quality and quantity of sleep. 

Switching off: Turn off your tablet Remove electronic devices from the bedroom and turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. That includes TV, computers, mobile phones and all social media.

4. Abstaining: Say no to alcohol

If you are a regular drinker then try skipping alcohol for a few days. Although it may help you get to sleep, alcohol also tends to disrupt sleep.

5. Exercising: Run your way to dreamland

Go for a 20-minute walk or a run first thing in the morning. The early morning light should help reset your internal clock, making sleep easier.

Record your conclusions by filling in the questionnaire on the BBC survey website below. With your help, experts will be able to ascertain which techniques are helpful and which are not. 

All data supplied is completely confidential.

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The Truth about Sleep Thursday 9:00pm BBC1