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How to have a good night’s sleep

4th September 2015
Posted by: Bridget Okeeffe


Friends ask me how I can bounce around full of energy, managing my businesses, travelling so much and still be so perky!

There’s no secret. Here it is – I can’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep! I know what it’s like – with so much happening in our everyday lives, it can be hard to switch off our brains and bodies! Most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night, so what’s the secret to getting a good night’s sleep?

girl with glasses

I’ve done some research as I wanted to give you some expert advice…

The NHS recommends you create a bedtime ritual, this should include:

Regular sleep time
Going to bed at roughly the same time each night, and trying to sleep around the same hours each night. Consistency is important, although may be a challenge at first if you’re not used to it. If you need an alarm to wake you up in the morning, try going to sleep earlier.

Wind down
Winding down with a warm bath to help your body reach a temperature ideal for resting.

Clear your mind
Write a ‘to do’ list for the next day, try some gentle relaxation exercises or play chillout music or if you’re so inclined, meditation music (Headspace app is quite good I hear!)

Read a book
Put down your phone. Turn off the TV. Don’t check Facebook. (That all familiar glow of your phone on your face is not a good recipe for good sleep!). The light from the technology suppresses the melatonin production in your brain and keeps you awake.

Hands clasped on open book

Darkness is your friend
Make your bedroom dark, quiet, tidy, smell fresh. Use earplugs and thick curtains and a luxury eye mask. There is science behind it. Your body should produce more melatonin when it’s dark making you sleepy hence helping you rest better.

Let the light in during the day
It’s also important get a healthy amount of natural light during the day, so take regular breaks away from your desk ladies. Take your dog for a walk, keep the curtains open during the day at home, move your desk closer to the window.  Simple, but effective.

Keep a diary
Try creating a sleep diary where you could answer these questions:

  • What were your sleeping times?
  • How long did it take you to get to sleep?
  • How many times did you wake up during the night?
  • How long did each awakening last?
  • How long did you sleep in total?
  • Did you take any sleeping tablets?
  • How well do you feel today?
  • How enjoyable was your sleep last night?
  • How much caffeine did you have before and after 5pm?
  • How much alcohol did you have before and after 5pm?
  • Did you do any exercise shortly before going to bed?
  • Did you take any naps during the day or evening?
  • Has anything made you anxious or stressed?

Nap Smart
Who has time for napping? Crikey. But it turns out that if you are tired during the day, then don’t sleep in late as this knocks your natural rhythm out, but instead take a nap! I love this idea. You’ll find me tucked up on the sofa…

Make Sure Your Bed Is Comfortable
You can use white noise or a fan to drown out the noise if you live in the city. Keep your room below 24C. If your body is too hot, you won’t get a good night’s kip. Can you stretch out in your bed with ease? If you have a sore back or aching neck, you may need to look at buying a new mattress. I can recommend memory foam mattress toppers, they’re brilliant.

Reserve your bed for two activities: sleeping and sex
If you work from home like I used to, I know how tempting it is to work from bed. It’s comfy there! But if you have that association then it’s hard to switch off, don’t you find? If you keep your bed for the two things Mother Nature intended it, then you’ll definitely sleep better!

And there you have it ladies, how to have a good night’s sleep. I want to know, what do you do to get a good night’s sleep? Will you follow these instructions?


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Source: NHS Choice

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