So you've come home after a hard day at work, finished dinner and the evening's chores are done, now it's time to slip into the ever-welcoming embrace of your bed. But wait, something's wrong. You're tossing and turning and sleep isn't coming as easily as you hoped. Don't panic, just follow these five easy steps and you'll find yourself in a sweet slumber in no time.
Break down tasks for today and tomorrow
You've had a lot to think about all day, your mind's still probably racing with ideas, and to make matters worse you've just started to consider all you have to do tomorrow. Some people find it incredibly useful to categorise all they've achieved that day, and write a to-do list of what needs to be done when they wake up. Most people have calendars or organisers for work, use these as daily checklists. Make sure you're happy with all you've done and have yet to do, but obviously don't be too hard on yourself. This way all the thoughts that would usually flood your mind will be down on paper already and you're free to drift off to sleep peacefully.
Shut yourself off from the world of technology
Every day we're lucky enough to be surrounded with all sorts of technology that enables us to communicate, work and play wherever we are. Unfortunately these blessings can also be curses. Whilst it is handy to have the phone and laptop near to the bed so we can socialise to the early hours; these devices also act as highly unwanted distractions when you're most in need of that sleep you so vitally crave. Next time you go to bed, try actually shutting off all the technology at the mains, this way you won't get any of the buzzing or blinking lights, which should create a relaxing environment free from distractions. For those who use their phone as an alarm, keep it on charge, but keep it out of arm's reach, so you're not able to check it five minutes. You'll notice this also helps you get up much quicker in the morning, as you actually have to get out of bed to turn on the snooze.
Clear the space around you
All too often people fall asleep with books, clothes or other random items strewn across the bed because they are too tired to clear up before going to sleep. This often results in them waking up sooner or later because they've accidentally knocked something off as they've shuffled round, disturbing their slumber. Isn't it much nicer to have a clear sleeping space where you can stretch out and get comfy without the danger of sending your favourite read flying across the room? If you can, tidy the whole bedroom up a little. You'll find your mind will feel much calmer and ready to rest when the room feels less cluttered.
Position yourself right
Are you sleeping on the right side of the bed? Is the quilt thick enough? Do you really need more than two pillows? These are just a few of the factors to consider if you are trying to get a proper night's sleep. If you share a bed with a partner and regularly find yourself suffering from sleepless nights, maybe it's time to ask if you could switch sides and try to see if that helps. Although spooning may be lovely for some, there is a risk of waking up to a 'dead-arm'. As well as disturbing your sleep, this can also be hugely uncomfortable. The affliction of having a quilt constantly stolen is an issue that affects many, so make sure it's big enough for you to share if needed, and certainly make sure it's thick enough to keep you at a nice temperature. No one wants to wake up freezing, or boiling for that matter. Whilst having lots of decorative pillows may make for a very attractive picture, the prospect of trying to sleep on top of everything is rather the opposite. Next time you go to bed, try re-evaluating your position under the covers. Whilst at first the change may seem strange, you may find yourself sleeping like a baby in no time.
The right kind of mattress
The worst culprit for keeping people up at night is the mattress. Despite spending a vast number of hours using it, people don't invest anywhere near as much time as they should considering which mattress is right for them. Whilst it's sometimes assumed that a very firm mattress offers the best support, this isn't actually the case. Studies have shown that the most supportive kind of mattress is medium to medium-firm. These offer enough cushioning for the hips, back and shoulder, whilst not sagging so far as to cause discomfort.
Memory Foam mattresses are also popular for this very reason. The fact they mould to the individual's body shape and yet still retain the much-needed support has made them a popular choice for those in need of some well-earned sleep; especially those who suffer for aches and pains. It's also important to remember that the mattress has to big enough for you to stretch out comfortably. Your limbs shouldn't be hanging off the edges whilst you try and sleep, this will only lead to discomfort later.