To help get those lacking sleep get started on their journey to sweet dreams, here are five top tips that aren’t only free (or involve making purchases we all do only more sensibly and cost effectively), but which could individually and better yet combined stand to save us all financially as well as save us literally from otherwise suffering a potentially rather frightening wakeup call in terms of our health and wellbeing.
- Stop Leaning on that Caffeine Crutch
Our love of caffeine in the UK is bigger than ever before. Whilst in the Victorian period the fashion for cocaine cough sweets and opium laced tinctures kept the nation placated, in more health conscious and regulated modern times we instead to turn coffee to keep us bright eyed and bushy tailed.
The problem is that whilst coffee, coca cola and energy drinks are all fantastic at keeping us going, they can be so good in fact that come bedtime they can also prevent us from stopping, slowing down and ultimately nodding off. Hence, more and more of us, rather than kick caffeine to the curb, simply consume more to provide us with the energy needed to keep up after another sleepless night.
To break the vicious caffeine merry-go-round so many of us seem stuck on, the best tip is to cut out the caffeine dramatically if not entirely. And, remember, it isn’t just coffee that contains it; caffeine in fact is present in a whole host of food and drink from chocolate to tea and even ‘decaffeinated’ drinks.
- Indulge in a Little Pillow Talk
Whilst one type of pillow talk is likely to keep a couple up, the literal kind could hold the answer to unlocking a sound night’s sleep and permit you entrance into the land of nod and sweet dreams.
Pillows, after all, are something we rely on, quite literally and every single night. Despite this, many people fail to buy the right ones because they do not realise that pillows need to be purchased according specifically to a person’s individual sleep positing and taking into account any aches, pains and conditions a person might have to accommodate for them if not eradicate them.
- Take a Hint from the Hippies
With a staggering 50% of us Brits, according to an article published by the Guardian Newspaper and available to read via the Guardian website, surviving on too little sleep and risking developing insomnia if not actually and already failing to get the recommended eight hours due to it, meditation is worth, well meditating on even for those of the least spiritual persuasion – not least because, as the article exposes, surviving on too few Zs raises the risk of developing and suffering from all manner of health issues from diabetes to heart failure.
Mindful meditation, specifically, has also now been proven to reduce instances of insomnia as well as improve or even cure those already experiencing it, according to research carried out and the results published by eminent Harvard Medical School academics.
- Get Out of It
In order to sleep well your bed should be used for two activities and those two activities only, and they are sleep and sex. This means you can kiss goodnight to those long Sunday lay ins cuddling up to your iphone, listening your ipod or flicking through the TV channels, at least if you want to enjoy sweet dreams come bed time.
The fact is we subconsciously make associations that can dramatically and disastrously in some cases affect our lives when we, for example, stop using our beds for their intended uses and start lounging about them as if they are sofas and using our bedrooms as living rooms Then, it is unreasonable really to expect our minds and bodies, when we climb into bed, to get the message that we want to sleep. Instead our minds can get confused and think it is ‘Twitter update time’ or time to start poking folk via Facebook.
Hence, to take control of bedtimes, be strict about what you do in bed; that is, if you aren’t about to have sex or sleep…get out of it.
- Move It or Lose It
According to an article published by the Independent Newspaper and available to read via the Independent website, a staggering 80% of us Brits don’t get enough exercise to even maintain a healthy lifestyle, never mind earn those killer abs and ghetto booties so many of us in 2016 covet.
Perhaps less surprisingly it is the poorest of us here in the UK who suffer most. Yet, with exercise being free there are no excuses. That is, we can all afford to leave the house in order to take a brisk walk in the evening, at the very least. In fact, doing so is likely to save families money as it means switching off the TV, lights and heating and putting down the snack food.
So, whatever your financial status, level of health or daily routine, fitting in a little daily exercise is something none of us have an excuse to bypass; after all, simply choosing to miss out on an hour or even half an hour’s evening TV watching to instead go for a jog, get on a bike, take the dog (or your family) out and get moving could stand to save you all a lot of lost Zs in the long term.