A guide to good sleep part 1: How to drop those unhealthy pre-bed habits

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It’s clear that getting enough sleep is important for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. Bad sleepers will say this is easier said than done. But not necessarily. The good news is, sleep is something we can improve ourselves. In this 3-piece guide to good sleep, you’ll find out everything you need to know about becoming a better sleeper. First, let’s uncover your unhealthy habits before bedtime and our tips on how to drop them.

Sleep, don’t surf

For many of us, our smartphone is the first thing we reach for in the morning and the last thing we look at at night. Are you someone who “takes one last look” before going to sleep then ends up scrolling through instagram for hours? Then it’s time to get rid of this habit and keep your smartphone as far away from your bedside as possible. Also, the blue light given off by electronic devices, suppresses melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles, and is said to have a bad influence on your sleep. Instead, switch off your mobile and go for a conventional alarm clock or try one of those wake up lights.

No boozing before snoozing

Some believe that having one drink before bed is a good way to fall asleep. It’s true that alcohol can make you feel relaxed, but it’s definitely not a good sleeping aid. No matter how much you drink, you might get a more consolidated sleep at first, but later that night alcohol acts as a sleep disrupter and affects your quality of sleep significantly. And don’t get us started on all the other negative effects alcohol has on our health. If you’re looking for a drink to help you unwind, have a cup of herbal or mint tea.

Set a slumber time

If you find reading is a good pre-slumber activity for you, go for it. But try to avoid thrillers or books and movies with too much excitement before bedtime. They will get your mind going into overdrive, which can prevent you from falling into a relaxed sleep. Always make sure to set a time limit so you don’t end up reading or watching episode after episode until 3 a.m.

Ditch the pre-bed to-do list

Just can’t manage to go to bed early? Too many demands and things on your to-do list? Wish there were more hours in your day? The problem is not a lack of time, the problem lies in your time management. First, measure your time by analysing it. Write down what you do from the moment you arrive at home until you go to bed. Are there any things you can remove or reschedule? Some social media time or useless zapping on TV? Create rules to structure your night, like no electronic devises after 10 p.m. You will see how it increases the likelihood of going to bed on time.

Need more tips on how to get better sleep? Follow our sleeping serial.