HOW TO HAVE A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP
There is one culprit that I always hear and read about that affects sleep, and that’s technology. It's unbelievably common for people to watch TV, use their computer, tablet or phone before they want to go to sleep. The one issue with this is that screens affect your eyes and mind and can cause you to have an unbalanced sleep. Apple recently rolled out a screen update called ‘night shift’, which turns the screen colour to a warmer tone, therefore being easier on the eyes at night. The fact that such a large company such as Apple felt the need to do this, just goes to show how much we’re on our phones and tablets. This new feature does help (I personally use it and can notice a different when I switch back to the regular setting), but not all phones and tablets have this capability. Also, many jobs involve looking at a screen all day every day, so add that to the times when you watch TV in the evenings, and it’s a lot of ‘screen time’.
Everything these days seems to revolve around technology though, so how can you avoid it?
In some ways you can't but in some ways you can. My biggest piece of advice is to not have a TV in your bedroom. I understand that if you live with your parents, then you're most likely going to have one in your room, so you can't get away from that really.
The vast majority of phones have the option to turn them on to ‘flight mode’ or something similar, which then, to an extent, shuts your phone off from receiving any texts/calls/emails/chats which can distract you from trying to sleep. So what if your best friend has to wait until the morning for your reply? it's not the end of the world. One thing that many people actually do, is to read before bed. I have read studies that have shown reading calms the brain which prepares it better for sleep and can give you a more consistent sleep. If you’re someone who loves to read and can easily read for an hour or so, then opening a book before you want to sleep may not be the best idea – as you might not want to put it down! (but many book lovers are totally fine when it comes to stopping for the night). You want something which can relax your mind but also easily stop doing to get some much needed shut eye.
Another tip which I always share when talking about this topic, is the bedroom itself. If your bedroom is cluttered, messy, unorganised, and just not an appealing room, then it could very easily affect your sleep. You want a bedroom to be a place of peace and a room where you feel relaxed. This could be a combination of wall colour, flooring, aroma, furniture and the bed itself. Having a supportive mattress can make a huge difference to the quality of your sleep (and help avoid/ease any back pain).
I’ve read reviews of very high quality hotels, purely to see if ‘amazing bedrooms’ really do give you better sleep. As with any review, you always get some poor ones. However, the vast majority of high-end hotel reviews that I read consisted of comments to do with having ‘the best sleep ever’. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Having a bedroom that is relaxing, inviting, warm, peaceful, will for sure put you in a far better state of mind to have a good night’s sleep. I’m not saying that everyone needs to spend a crazy amount of money on their bedroom, but making a few simple changes could really benefit you.
To be honest, a lot of it is down to discipline - leaving your phone alone, not watching another episode of a TV show that you're streaming, and trying to relax before you go to bed will all lead to better sleep.
You can't get away from technology, it's part of everyday life, but you want to try for 30 minutes before you sleep.