The importance of good sleep hygiene

These are the simple changes you can make to help get the perfect night’s sleep, according to Sleep Medicine Consultant Dr Mark Levi.

Living in a fast-paced world, where we are constantly connected makes getting a good night’s sleep even more essential.

Without sufficient sleep we get tired and listless, irritable, and bad tempered, with our judgement often compromised.

In order to get a good night’s sleep, the bedroom must be calm and comfortable. Fresh air, a moderate temperature, and adequate nightwear all contribute to that feeling of relaxation.

It’s best to avoid working, watching television, and using mobile phones or other electronic devices in the bedroom and keep the room for sleep and intimacy only. The subconscious brain registers noise (turn off notifications on your phone!) so it’s essential that the room is quiet for undisturbed sleep.

Be aware that blue light emitted by screens retards the secretion of the hormone, melatonin. Melatonin helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles, with levels rising in the evenings when the lights are dimmed. Do not use electronics less than two hours before bedtime.

Stimulants are also the enemy of sleep. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime, and keep caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks to a minimum in the late afternoon.

For the perfect sleep, you need to develop good sleep habits. Our bodies thrive on routine, so go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Have a warm shower before bed or spend time reading to quiet the mind and slow your heart rate, helping you to relax and fall asleep.

Catch up on the full episode of The House of Wellness TV show to see more expert advice from Zoe, Ed, and the team.