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Wellbeing

8 Ways to get a great night sleep

By UALHalls 04 Nov 2020

With deadlines approaching and the clocks going back, it can feel hard to get a proper nights rest. Regular sleep is important for our mental health and daily functioning, so we have put together our top tips for a good night sleep that will hopefully help you catch some z’s. Happy dreaming!



1. Taking control of your sleep schedule

Your aim should be to wake up each day at the same time, well-rested. In order to get to this point, it can help to take small steps. Start by aiming to go to sleep at the same time every night, then going to bed one hour earlier each week until you reach your desired bedtime – just make sure it’s before midnight.



2. Put down your devices

Using your phone before bed may not seem like a big deal, but devices affect your sleep more than you realise. The blue light from your device screen suppresses melatonin production (the hormone that helps you sleep) so you should ideally avoid any stimulation 1 to 2 hours before you sleep.

Be sure to switch your devices to the ‘Night Shift’ setting in the evening to alter the screen temperature to a warmer colour, filtering out the blue light. Why not try picking up a book or having a hot bath to wind down instead?



3. Create a relaxation station

Make your bedroom environment relaxing. You can do this by keeping your bedroom free of clutter and making your bed every morning. Try and have only warm light sources, and once they are off, make sure that your room is dark and cosy. Aromatherapy oils can also help calm your senses. 



4. Try to get good bedding

You might not want to spend a lot of money on bedding, but good quality bedding doesn’t have to break the bank. The quality and feel of bedding can vary a lot, so spend time looking at different materials that feel comfy but not too hot to sleep in. Even if you just start with new pillowcases, try it out, and see if it makes a difference.



5. Don’t stress

Worrying about whether or not you are getting enough sleep can just create an ongoing cycle of anxiety and stress. Don’t check or focus on what time it is, and instead, focus on deep relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing and mindful meditation. A bedtime routine can help you get in the right headspace for good night sleep. 



6. Avoid caffeine

We all love a cup of tea before bed but watch out for that caffeine! Caffeine is a natural stimulant that makes you more alert and therefore makes it harder for you to fall asleep, so consuming it before bedtime is not a great idea if you want a good night sleep.

Maybe try replacing caffeinated drinks such as tea and fizzy drinks with herbal tea or warm milk before bed next time if you want to catch some shut-eye.



7. Keep active

We aren’t saying you need to run a marathon every day, but a regular exercise routine can help to reduce your stress levels, and stress is a common cause of sleep problems!

Getting outside for a walk or cycle in the fresh air for at least 10 minutes a day can improve your sleep quality. Yoga is also a great way to unwind before bed, relaxing the body and the mind therefore promoting restful sleep. 



8. Be careful with naps

After a long day at university, an afternoon nap feels well deserved. But if you have trouble falling asleep at night, napping can make this worse as it can confuse your sleep schedule and make it harder to get to sleep when you need to. If you still feel the need to nap during the day, its recommended to do so before 2pm and to limit naps to 10 to 20 minutes. 



We hope you found these tips useful for improving your sleep. For more handy sleeping advice and tips visit the Sleep Foundation. 😴

This article was written by Laura T, one of our Halls Reps. 

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