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SECRETS OF SLEEP SUCCESS
We asked Dr Neil Stanley, sleep expert and author of How to Sleep Well,
for his top tips on how to get a restful and restorative night's sleep
4 WAYS TO
If you find yourself lying
awake at night for a long
period of time, my advice is
to get out of bed there's no
point staying there feeling
CREATE A SERENE SPACE
'Your bedroom needs to be dark,
quiet, comfortable and cool. The
optimum temperature is around
17C. Rethink your bedding if
frustrated. It's far better to
go to another room to do
something relaxing, such as
reading a book or listening
to the radio, then go back
to bed when you feel sleepy.
'Before bed every night, repeat relaxing sleep "cues", such as having
a warm bath or cup of herbal tea. This way, you'll retrain your mind and
body to understand that these are the things that happen before sleep.
you're constantly too hot or cold,
and try black-out blinds if you're
sensitive to light. Decluttering the
room may help clear your mind
as well as your space.
QUIETEN YOUR MIND
'It's very hard to fall asleep if you're
stressed and anxious. Find a way
to help you chill out before going
to sleep, whether it's writing down
your worries, reading, meditating
or listening to a relaxing podcast.
SNORING Snoring is caused by your mouth, throat or airways
vibrating as you breathe. It's more likely to happen if you're overweight,
smoke, or drink alcohol before bedtime. Loud snorers can often wake
themselves up and, even if they're not aware of it, this can be enough
to disturb the quality of sleep and lead to tiredness
'Your body and brain effectively
start to wake up 90 minutes
before you open your eyes. If you
"train" your brai
same time every day, you'll get
up feeling much better.
Trying to sleep on your side may help, or a pharmacist can suggest
snoring relief aids such as nasal strips, which open the nostrils wider.
If it is a long-term problem, see your GP who may refer you to an ear,
nose and throat specialist to assess what is actually causing the snoring.
wake at the
SLEEP WALKING AND TALKING
'Sleepwalking and sleep-talking are both caused when parts of the
brain start functioning while the rest of the brain is asleep. Typically,
sleepwalkers perform actions that are instinctive, such as tidying a room
or even driving - so it's key to make your environment as safe as possible
so you won't be able to put yourself or somebody else in danger.
Try to identify what situations are likely to lead to an episode. If being
stressed seems to be a trigger, try ways to help reduce this, such as simple
breathing exercises, playing soft music or meditation.
'Exercising during the day will help
you feel tired, while being outside
can help you to feel calmer. Try to
avoid exercising at night, as the
endorphins you produce will make
you feel too energetic for sleep. It
also raises your body temperature.
APPS TO HELP
BEST FOR DRIFTING
BEST FOR ANXIOUS
BEST FOR INSOMNIA:
Calm MINDS: PZIZZ*
NHS-approved, this app
uses music, voiceovers
and sound effects to help calm
Devised by experts, this
programme of sleep
support includes how to manage
bedtimes and monitor your sleep.
mindfulness made easy,
plus the app has soothing sleep
stories read by well-known voices.
your mind before bedtime.
94 I GOOD LIVING
Calm is free to download and use; additional content available to purchase. *Pzizz is free to download and use;
additional content available to purchase. 'Sleepful is free to download and use. Mobile data charges may apply
Words: Harriette Casey, Photographs: Liz Gregg. Getty images. Hair and make-up: Ariane Young @ joygoodman.com