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The secret to getting a good night’s sleep is simple- establish a routine. Healthy sleep habits can mean the difference between restlessness and restful slumber. Researchers have identified a variety of practices and habits, known as “sleep hygiene” that can help anyone maximise the hours they spend sleeping (even those whose sleep is affected by insomnia, jet lag, or shift work).

Here are some Top tips for a night’s sleep – Edgewater Physio.

1. Keep a regular sleep cycle.

This will help you feel more refreshed and energised than if you had slept the same number of hours at different times. This holds true even if you alter your sleep schedule by only an hour or two. It’s therefore important to make sure you:

Set a regular bed time- even on weekends.

Wake up at the same time every day – if you’re getting enough sleep you should wake up naturally without an alarm.

Be smart about napping – if you must nap, nap in the early afternoon for no more than 30 minutes.

2. Turn your bedroom into a slumber land by:

Keeping your bedroom a quiet, dark, and cool place. Making sure you are equipped with comfortable mattresses and pillows. Keeping distractions out of the bedroom – kick computers, iPads/tablets, TV’s and work materials out!

Establishing a soothing pre-sleep routine – read a book, take a bath, listen to music etc.

3. Let light shine!

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. As its production is controlled by light exposure why not.

Increase light exposure during the day – let in the light first thing in the morning, get out of the office for a quick sun break during the day and let as much light into your home/workspace during the day

Boost your melatonin production at night – limit reading/working off screens of any kind which are backlit (e.g. computer or iPad), use lower-wattage light bulbs in your bedroom, turn off your TV and/or computer and make your room as dark as possible when sleeping.

4.Stay out of your head.

It’s normal to wake up during the night (good sleepers may not even remember they are doing it), but when you have trouble getting back to sleep try the following strategies:

Make relaxation your goal – stress and anxiety encourages your body to stay awake. Try various relaxation techniques such as visualisation, deep breathing or meditation.

Remain soothed – if you have been awake for more than 15 minutes get out of bed and try reading a book.

Postpone worrying and brainstorming – keep a notepad and pen next to your bed and make notes of any thoughts (then you can check it in the morning).

5. Know when to see a doctor.

If you’ve tried the above tips and are still struggling with sleep problems, be sure to visit your doctor for further investigations.

Follow Edgewater Physio on twitter, facebook and google + for some great tips!

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