TOP SLEEP TIPS

Having a good nights sleep can make the world of difference. Here are Dr Balinda Batten's recommnedations for getting an improved, restful sleep. 

  1. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, will programme your body to sleep better.
  2. Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep and it should be neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible.
  3. Make sure your bed is comfortable.
  4. Regular, moderate exercise such as swimming or walking can help relieve the day’s stresses and strains. But not too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake!
  5. Cut down on tea or coffee – especially in the evening. They interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep.  Have a hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.
  6. Avoid heavy meals or alcohol, before bedtime. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night.
  7. Don’t smoke. Smokers take longer to fall asleep, wake more often and often experience more sleep disruption.
  8. Try to relax before going to bed for example with music, a warm bath or gentle exercise; and avoid stressful situations or conversations just before bed time.
  9. Deal with worries or a heavy workload by making lists of things to be tackled the next day. Keep a notepad by your bed. 
  10. If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.

EXTRA HELP – talk to your GP or another member of the caring team….

  1. If you are suffering with stress or physical symptoms eg:  pain which might be interfering with sleep.
  2. If sleep problems become intolerable, sleeping tablets might help short term although these often have side effects and can create more problems in the long term.
  3. If your sleep is disturbed by caring for someone else, extra help eg: sitting services, or respite care may be available.

To find out more information about sleep you can visit the following websites: sleepcouncil.org.uk or carersuk.org.