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How to sleep well

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

Why is sleep important? Well, around 1/3 of your time is spent sleeping, which is as necessary for survival as water and food. Optimizing sleep can help you exercise better, improve your self-control and be all-around healthier. Here are our top tips for getting a great night's rest.

Be exposed to sunlight or bright light in the day

Exposing yourself to sunlight helps your natural internal body clock orient itself, which helps the body release hormones (melatonin) that help you sleep at the right time. This can improve the quality and length of your night’s sleep.

Have a routine!

Routine is key! Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, and yes, I’m afraid that even means on the weekend. This gets your body into a sleep rhythm which helps improve your ability to fall asleep and your sleep quality. It’s also important to set a daily pre-bed routine that you follow every night, which needs to include some wind-down time and relaxation, so your body has the cues that it is winding down to sleep. If you can’t sleep after 20 minutes, get up and start the routine again.

Optimize your sleep environment

Blocking out as much noise and light from your sleeping environment can really aid sleep and help prevent you from waking up prematurely. It is also important not to get too hot at night, so don’t cover yourself in all the duvets. Your core body temperature when asleep naturally drops, and this helps aid sleep, so if you raise your body temperature at night it will disrupt and affect your sleep.

Avoid the sleep disrupters

Caffeine and alcohol, screen time (on your laptop or phone), and large meals late at night can make getting to or staying asleep difficult and can lower the quality of the sleep you get. The blue light from screens disrupts sleep as it suppresses a natural sleep hormone called melatonin. If you want to continue using your laptop or phone, we recommend getting a blue light-blocking filter on your devices or using blue light-blocking glasses.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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