Top Tips to Wake Up Well
To ensure you wake up feeling your best, here’s what you need to do:
Time your wake up so you have just finished a sleep cycle (subtract 90 minute cycles from the time you have to get up - let’s say you have to be up at 8 then going to bed at 11 will give you 6 full cycles).
Avoid alcohol, heavy or spicy food at night, even though it may not wake you up it can still disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling exhausted in the morning.
Exercise in the evening, although not within two hours of bedtime, this will help you get a better, deeper sleep.
Keep electronics out of the bedroom. The light they emit signals the body to wake up. If you have to have an alarm, make sure it is not facing you.
Keep the bedroom, cool dark and quiet. Blackout blinds are really good way to keep your room cool and dark.
Getting Children to Sleep
If your children often wake throughout the night, the first thing to remember is that it is not always going to be like this. Most children grow out of waking in the night quite early on. The best thing to do is go settle but don't hover. You know your child best and you will be able to tell when you are needed and when you are wanted.
If your partner’s snoring keeps you awake try recording their snoring and play it back to yourself during the day when you are fully awake. This will help to desensitise you to the noise. If your partner is snoring loudly and chokes or stops breathing it is time for them to see the GP to get some help.
If nightmares affect your sleep don’t worry. Regular nightmares are common in children. If this is the case they are likely to grow out of it. In adults, it is usually a sign of anxiety. Try to get some relaxation time in before bed and deal with those worries with an evening diary. If the problem is interfering with your day to day life, then it is time to talk to your GP.
Trouble Getting to Sleep
If you are having trouble getting to sleep at night, try keeping a diary every evening, about an hour to an hour and a half before bedtime. Write down everything you have done today, everything that you have to do tomorrow, and everything that you have put in place to deal with tomorrow. That should help clear out the mind and get you off to sleep.
If you are waking during the night because you are too hot, the easiest thing to do is get your extremities out from under the duvet. By releasing the head, hands and ankles the body can cool quite quickly. Also, a fan is a great addition to the bedroom as it cools the bedroom down and masks a lot of other noises. Additionally, make sure you have the right tog, it’s important to switch your duvet to a lower tog in the summer to ensure you keep cool.
Waking in the Night
If you struggle to get back to sleep after waking during the night and have been lying awake for more than 15 minutes, get out of the bed. Go and do something, anything that does not involve work or bright light. Only go back to the bedroom when you are sleepy.
If you're not getting a good night's sleep beacause your partner is moving around the bed a lot at night this could be a temperature issue. Make sure the bedroom is cool and tat your bedding allows your body to breath. Additionally, separate duvets ensure that there is no hogging and you can get togs to suit both your needs.
Aches & Pains
If you wake in the morning with a sore neck it sounds like a pillow issue. You should check to see if your pillow is giving you the support that you need. Take the pillow in both hands and hold it out in front of you. If it folds in half it is time to get a new one.
Sleepwalking and talking are very common in children and they will grow out of it eventually. If they are walking, just guide them back to bed. If it is an adult, well that is usually a sign of anxiety or tension. Try some relaxation before bedtime and give yourself some wind down time. If the problem is interfering with your or your partners daily life then it is time to talk about options with your GP.