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Getting sufficient and restful sleep is a significant part of a healthy lifestyle, and can be a great source of worry when it feels impossible to attain. Day-to-day wellbeing, ability to function cognitively, and emotional regulation are all factors which can suffer when we’re sleep-deprived.

It’s a well-known fact that stress and anxiety can lead to difficulty in sleeping at night, preventing us from unwinding and relaxing into a deep and restful slumber. With the many difficulties and sources of worry in our current lives, from the Russia and Ukraine crisis, through to the rising cost of living, we believe that it’s important to try to find a way to be able to ‘switch off’ at night, and feel the benefits of a deep relaxed sleep.

We believe that as much as possible, it’s important to try to avoid some potentially unhelpful coping strategies, such as using alcohol to drift off to sleep. These could lead to further complications in the future. Instead, take a look at our list below:

Find a routine that works for you. Sticking to a regular bedtime and waking up time is a great way to fall into a habit, making it easier for you to find a rhythm in your sleeping regime. This structure can also provide a source of comfort and motivation. Try to choose a bedtime in which you naturally are starting to feel tired, and something that feels attainable to you and your lifestyle. This way, you won’t be tossing and turning at night trying to force yourself to sleep. It’s important also to try and maintain this routine over the weekend, so that you start the following week on the same sleeping wavelength. When waking up, over time your body should begin to act as a natural alarm clock, if you’re gaining the sufficient sleep needed for you.

Create a bedtime ritual. This can be something as simple as soaking in a bubble bath, reading a book, setting up a comforting hot water bottle, and pouring a cup of milky hot chocolate before getting into bed. This sense of routine will provide a source of comfort, and also psychologically indicates to your body that it is time to wind down before heading off to sleep. Try a routine starting from 30minutes to an hour to get into bed, to give yourself sufficient time to wind-down before climbing under the duvet.

Be mindful of night-time eating habits. Foods or drinks high in sugar or caffeine are best avoided right up to two hours before bed. This means holding off on the coffee or alcohol, and switching instead to a herbal tea or alternative decaf beverage. If you do like to late-night snack, try something smaller in size, to avoid digestion problems when you sleep. We also recommend keeping away from spicy or acidic foods on an evening.