Practical sleep tips

Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference to your quality of sleep.

Try following these simple tips:

Get into a daily routine. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, every day, will programme your body to sleep better.

Create a restful sleeping environment. 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.

Get active the rest well. 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!

Cut down on the caffeine - especially in the evening. Caffeine interferes with falling asleep and prevents deep sleep. Have a hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.

Don't over-indulge. Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, just before bedtime, can mess with your sleep pattern. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night.

Try to relax before going to bed. Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet music, do some restorative yoga - anything that helps you to relax both the mind and body.

Brain dump. If something is on your mind, write it down and tackle it in the morning. The act of writing a note can help to alleviate it from your mind.

Can't sleep? Get up. 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.