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  • Joanna Shtrosberg

I see sleep as the foundation to good health. Without good quality sleep, we struggle to function effectively during the day. The importance of nutrition and exercise have attracted much media attention in recent years but sleep is gradually beginning to gain ground as a fundamental pillar of health. Improving your sleep will make a huge difference to your life. So, it’s important to understand the key factors that can influence your sleep. My top tips should get you started…

Why sleep?

Follow my top tips to help improve your sleep

I’ve written previously about why sleep is so important to your health and wellbeing. It keeps your body strong by enhancing your major organs and boosting your immune system. And it aids the brain too – enhancing our ability to learn, memorise and process difficult emotions.

Of course there are so many ways to improve your sleep, but I have listed below my top five tips. Once you’ve mastered those, I recommend you read my blog here which contains a more comprehensive list of suggestions.

1. Timing

My first piece of advice is to try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Doing so will help strengthen your body’s natural circadian rhythm. You will soon find that you start to feel sleepy at the same time every evening and you’ll find it easier to wake up in the mornings too. People wrongly assume that they can stay up late on the weekends and catch up another time, but unfortunately the body doesn’t work that way. It thrives on consistency.

2. Don’t eat too late

The foods we eat can play a very important role on our ability to fall asleep as well as our sleep quality. Eating late in the evening an cause indigestion and bloating which can interfere with your sleep. I always advise people to eat as early as you can. For parents, it can be convenient to eat dinner with their children as early as 5pm. This will give your stomach the break it needs to digest your meal well before bedtime.

3. Eliminate caffeine after noon

This may be a difficult one for some people, especially exhausted parents, but caffeine can have a very significant affect on your ability to fall asleep at night and on the quality of your sleep. My general rule of thumb is to enjoy caffeine in the mornings and eliminate it in the afternoons. To find out more about the effects of caffeine on the body, read my article here.

4. Have a hot shower in the evening

Having a hot bath or shower before bed will lead to a drop in body temperature and help you feel sleepy. The body is at its warmest in the evening, so the drop in temperature will make it easier to fall asleep. People often mistakenly assume that we want to be warm at bedtime but in fact a bedroom temperature of 18-20°C is ideal.

5. No screens one hour before bed

The blue light from all screens whether a laptop, TV or mobile phone will interfere with your sleep and stimulate your brain. Removing screens for at least an hour before bed will help the body relax and allow for the release of the sleep hormone melatonin which is only triggered with darkness.

I hope these tips will help improve your sleep by both reducing your sleep latency (the time it takes you to fall asleep) and your sleep quality too. For a more in depth guide see my blog here. And if you’re struggling with sleep because your child isn’t sleeping well, then check out my baby sleep packages. I provide top quality sleep advice that is tailored to your child and instantly available on purchase. To find out more read about us or view our testimonials.

Joanna Shtrosberg
Joanna is a certified level 6 holistic sleep consultant and founder of Sleep Superstars. Her vision is to help parents navigate the challenges of parenthood by helping them and their children get the sleep they need. Before setting up Sleep Superstars, Joanna graduated from Cambridge University and the College of Law after which she practised in the legal profession for several years. She is also a mother to two young boys so fully understands the difficulties in balancing a career with family life.