Rediscover the joy of sleep

If you’re fed up with feeling restless then you’re not alone – it’s thought that 1 in 3* of us regularly struggle to get a good night’s sleep.

Lack of sleep can mean more than just frustration at bedtime, often impacting the day too by affecting mood, productivity and even relationships. It’s time to help you get back to feeling normal again, so read on to get the best out of bedtime and #SayGoodNytol

Missing your beauty sleep?

Sleep can be upset by anything from too much caffeine to a hectic work and family life.

But sleep is a really important part of our physical and mental health, helping to boost our immune system, drive our metabolism, rejuvenate our skin and give our brains time to process the days events.

While it’s not always easy to switch off, understanding the ideal amount of sleep for you can make a real difference to your health and wellbeing.

It's not all about 8 hours

Everyone has different needs when it comes to sleep so don’t get too hung up on getting a perfect 8 hours. But you also shouldn’t expect to run on 4 hours a night forever either. If you regularly wake up tired or resort to catching up at the weekend, then you need to improve the quality of sleep you get across the week.

The key thing is recognising that you don’t need to suffer endless sleepless nights before doing something about it.

Take back bedtime

You might have already tried a few techniques to relax and improve your sleep. From keeping your room cool to taking a hot bath before bed, and even writing to-do lists for the next day, there’s a whole heap of ways to unwind.

If you can’t sleep, it’s worth taking the time to find the right combination of approaches for you and making them part of a regular bedtime routine that leaves you rested and refreshed in the morning.

Sleep Friendly Environment

A Relaxed Body

A Quiet Mind

To give yourself the best shot at having an awesome night’s sleep – here’s a few things you can do to help:

Get into a routine

One of the best things you can do is to establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. This signals to the body that it is time for sleep and allows you to put the stresses of the day behind you. The body craves regularity, so having a routine and going to bed / waking up at the same time every day can have a positive effect on the body and make you less likely to hit snooze on your alarm.

Keep your cool

Make sure your bedroom is cool. A hot room or covers that are too warm may disturb your sleep and leave you unsettled. Ideally you want a temperature that’s comfortable when you go to bed and cools to around 16-18°C through the night.

Let a little light in

The right amount of light in your room is really important. Having a completely dark room may help you nod off quicker, but ideally you want to leave a little room for some dawnlight to help wake you up naturally in the morning.

Love your bed

The feel of your mattress, pillows, sheets and pyjamas affects the quality of your sleep. Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive so you wake up feeling rested, not achy or stiff. Ideally a mattress that reduces the pressure points on your body should give you a better night’s sleep, however the perfect bed environment will be different for every person.

Silent Night

While you sleep, your brain continues to register and process sounds. Noises can cause you to wake, or shift between stages of sleep. If you struggle with noise pollution, earplugs might be helpful. If it’s snoring that is the issue, then hold off the midnight pillow fight and try reducing your or your loved one’s snoring with a treatment instead, such as a throat spray, nasal passage plasters or a mouth guard.

Relax and unwind

An hour before bedtime, start winding down your mind and body from the stress of the day. Dim your lights and do something relaxing like reading a book. Practising mindfulness, meditation or breathing exercises can help to clear your mind and prepare your body for sleep.

Switch off and prepare for drift off

Turning off the TV and picking up a book is one thing, but it’s also worth putting your tablet or phone to bed an hour before you go too. These devices emit a blue light that can keep your brain switched on even when you don’t want to be.

Raise a glass

Ok, so we don’t recommend drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed, as both contain stimulants that can stop you dozing off or enjoying an unbroken sleep. But, a hot (de-caffinated) drink can be a great way to unwind and get the calm feeling that makes bedtime worthwhile. And researchers from the School of Life Sciences at Northumbria University have recently found that drinking Montmorency cherry juice can also increase your levels of melatonin* (the sleep hormone) too.

Go natural

Don’t worry, we’re not telling you what to wear in bed. No, what we’re suggesting is looking at herbal remedies for helping you relax before sleep. Lavender drops on the pillow are traditionally used to help you relax.

Night time nudge

You may or may not have considered using sleeping aids like Nytol One-A-Night before, but they can be a really great way to help you drift off and get back into your normal sleep pattern. Nytol One-A-Night are clinically proven to help you get a good night’s sleep and improve the quality of your sleep, so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Don't force it

We’ve all been there when all you can think about is not being able to sleep and the harder you try, the more worked up you get. If you’re in bed for more than 15 minutes without drifting off, then get up and do something relaxing like reading a book until you feel sleepy. If you prefer to stay in bed, then try counting sheep – yes it’s a cliche, but taking your mind off not sleeping can help you drift off without even noticing. So take a few deep breaths, shut your eyes and see how many sheep make it over the fence!