Getting a better night’s sleep

Bad bedroom habits could be not only harming your sleep but also leading to poor health in the short and the long term.

Studies have found that the blue light emitted from mobile phones, laptops and computers may affect sleep habits by decreasing the release of the hormone melatonin in the body. Melatonin is responsible for regulating the body’s natural sleep cycle – and lower levels of this hormone have been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

In addition to this, studies have found that using technology in the few hours before bed may increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol – which in turn reduces sleep quality, and can contribute to other health issues like obesity and heart disease.

Other common lifestyle habits that could be affecting sleep patterns are eating or exercising late in the evening – meaning that when your head hits the pillow, you’re still busy digesting food or have adrenaline rushing around the body from a workout, both of which make it difficult to get into sleep mode.

So what’s the perfect pre-bed routine? Try these simple three tips:

  1. Finish eating a big meal or exercising vigorously at least three hours before you get into bed.
  2. Switch off from all technology for at least an hour before bed – that means TV, emails, phones, computers or tablets.
  3. Spend at least half an hour before bed doing something you find relaxing – whether it’s reading a book, having a warm bath or listening to some music and catching up with your other half.