Secrets to a good bedtime routine…

One of the most important things you can do to get a good nights sleep, is to establish a regular, relaxing, bedtime routine.

This will signal to the body that it is time for sleep and will allow you to put the stresses and worries of the day behind you.

You should spend at least 30 minutes winding down before bed. This means turning off the TV/ computer and doing those things that help you quieten your mind and relax your body.

It can be a good idea to create a familiar routine that can act as a signal to your mind that sleep is approaching.

It’s best to avoid heated discussions or stress triggers, for example doing work or opening bills, in the lead up to bedtime.

Go to bed when you’re sleepy and not when the TV programme you’re watching finishes. Most people’s preparation for sleep seems to involve nothing more than turning the TV off, going to the loo, brushing their teeth and then getting into bed and expecting to fall asleep.

You mustn’t try to fall asleep – no one can fall asleep on demand.

Sleep is intended to work as a background process, something that will come naturally if we let it. The harder you try to force yourself to fall asleep, the more difficult it will become.

Sleep is a bit like breathing in this sense, when we start to observe our breathing, it becomes difficult to maintain a natural flow. Try to focus on your breath for a moment now to see this in action.

Next time you find yourself trying to sleep, distract yourself.