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Tips for better sleep

Tip 1: How to improve well-being through better sleep.

Well-being expert Dr Nick Baylis, author of Learning From Wonderful Lives, offers these tips for getting a better night’s sleep:
  • Get eight hours sleep in every 24, even if you have to cat-nap to top up on a short night’s sleep
  • Don’t have a TV in your bedroom
  • Don’t let your work intrude into your bedroom
  • Read a good book
  • Have a hot drink or hot bath before bed
  • Watch for your body cooling, that’s a sign that you are beginning to drop off
  • A cool bedroom can help you to drop off faster
  • Don’t try to force yourself to sleep, if it doesn’t come after 20 minutes or so, get up and do some boring chores,until you feel drowsy
  • Don’t ‘reward’ insomnia with food
  • Once you’ve established a good sleeping pattern, stick to it
  • Don’t cut back on sleep by hoping to catch up at the weekends
  • Be careful about consumption of caffeinated drinks, alcohol, chocolate or eating a big meal within two hours of bedtime

If you still suffer from insomnia you should consider whether stress, night-working, pain or depression are to blame. If not, see your medical practitioner and check whether you’re suffering from ‘sleep apnoea’ – which can seriously jeopardise your well-being.

Tip 2: Sleep codes for children

Charles Leadbeater in the Demos think-tank report Dream On: Sleep in the 24/7 Society makes several recommendations for addressing what he call the ‘sleep deficit’, including:

A ‘Sleep Code’ for children, similar to the Highway Code, instilling good habits such as:

  • Going to bed at a regular time
  • Avoiding eating and drinking before bed
  • Avoiding other stimulants before bed
  • Establishing a regular wind-down routine before bed-time
  • Teachers could encourage sleep diaries in which children and parents can monitor performance against sleep patterns
  • Government-funded research to assess the impact of sleep on learning – and strategies to support better sleep patterns
  • Special help for children living in chaotic households.
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