6 ways to sleep better tonight

Get a good night’s rest with these tips.

1. Exercise regularly

Getting in some daily exercise can help you to develop better sleeping patterns, fall asleep more quickly, and deepen the quality of your shut-eye. They key is persistence – one hard workout won’t have an immediate effect on your sleep, a recent study at Northwestern University found, but regular daily exercise will improve your sleep habits over time. Try to schedule your exercise in the morning or afternoon though, as exercising too close to bed time can make it more difficult to sleep, not easier.

2. Switch off before bed

Many studies have suggested that using electronic devices with backlit displays before bed can disrupt our sleep cycles. Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for example, shows that two hours of exposure to backlit devices can cause melatonin suppression, which may lead to delayed sleep by confusing the brain into thinking it is daytime. Try to turn off your gadgets at least one or two hours before bed and enjoy a more restful sleep.

3. Adjust your temperature

Being too warm can lead to disrupted sleep as your body tries to reset its core temperature. Adjust your blankets, open the window or arrange a fan to keep your body temperature at a comfortable coolness. As a general guide, one study conducted at the Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille in France suggested that the ideal sleeping temperature for most adults is around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.

4. Skip the nightcap

While it’s true that a glass of wine at night can be relaxing and help you nod off quickly, once you fall asleep alcohol is actually damaging to your sleep cycle. Research conducted at the London Sleep Center suggested that alcohol interferes with REM sleep, the deepest sleep stage, resulting in a choppy, wakeful night that can leave you feeling unrefreshed in the morning. The more alcohol you drink, the greater the impact on your sleep.

5. Ditch your afternoon coffee

Your late-afternoon caffeine boost might be disrupting your sleep, even if it’s six hours before bedtime, researchers from Henry Ford Hospital and Wayne State College of Medicine in Detroit say. Caffeine shortens the deep-sleep phases of your sleep cycle, resulting in poorer sleep quality and duration. Sleep experts suggest not drinking coffee or other caffeinated products after lunchtime, or at least eight hours before bedtime.

6. Try meditation

Taking some time out before bed to relax your mind through meditation can be an effective way to improve your sleep. Something as simple as focusing on your breathing for a few minutes can be a good place to start, or you could try listening to relaxation music or a guided meditation. Practising meditation during the day can also lower your overall stress levels, giving you a better chance of getting a good night’s rest.

What are your best tips for a good night’s sleep? Share using #GenBetter

Recommended reading - Around the world

Community

Why the Mediterranean diet is so good for you

Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos explains why eating Mediterranean-style can make you healthier.

Read more
Travel

9 dishes from around the world

Looking for some international culinary inspiration? Try these 9 dishes from around the world.

Read more
Travel

A lesson in Japanese cuisine

Be magazine learns the secrets to balanced Japanese cooking.

Read more
Travel

Healthy eating around the world

What we can learn from other cultures when it comes to food.

Read more
Travel

4 enticing food-growing regions

Discover pockets of the world where sumptuous local flavours are the trademark.

Read more
In Brief

The Saltiest Chicken Nugget in the World

Alarming results from recent study on salt content in fast food.

Read more
Community

Tastes of the Amazon

Sambazon is an acai company who has a fair trade partnership to protect the Amazon rainforest.

Read more
Travel

3 historic restaurants across Europe

These classic establishments in historic European cities have barely changed in centuries

Read more
Community

Speedy Asian cooking with Marion Grasby

Devoted food traveller Marion Grasby dishes up some advice on creating delicious meals - fast.

Read more
Lifestyle

Marion Grasby on cultural and culinary diversity

Marion Grasby tells us what’s on the menu for her wedding.

Read more
Community

Sevtap Yuce: Cooking from the heart

Simple, fresh food made with love is at the heart of Sevtap Yuce’s newest cookbook, Turkish Fire

Read more
Community

12 food documentaries

These documentaries will show the food you eat in a whole new light.

Read more
Travel

5 cooking classes around the globe

Let your travels infuse your cooking and take home the flavours of a trip.

Read more
Recipes

How to cook with native Australian bush flavours

Interested to try your hand at cooking with native Australian flavours? Here's how.

Read more
Lifestyle

Pickling and preserving – the Nordic way

When it comes to smoking, curing and pickling, the Scandinavians have it right. We show you how

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.