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It can be hard to switch off your brain at the end of the working day from all the thoughts and to-do lists that can run through your mind. But getting enough sleep is really important because it affects how well we function in the day time. This fact is certainly common knowledge but have you ever thought about the quality of your sleep? Are you waking up feeling well rested and full of energy?

If not, then there are lots of ways to improve the quality of your sleep and even simple adjustments can make a real difference. From the temperature of your bedroom at night to the clothing items you choose to wear to bed, a little conscious effort could change your sleeping habits for the better. So treat your sleep time as ‘me time’ and allow yourself to unwind at the end of the day to the best of your abilities using these five simple tips.

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1. Cooler Temperature

Did you know that you will actually sleep better if the temperature of your bedroom is slightly lower than normal? Cooler temperatures allow the body to recharge and switch off sooner because when we sleep the brain’s natural temperature is trying to drop. However, being too cold or too hot can also be detrimental to a good night’s sleep. The suggested optimum range is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit[2]. If you do not have air conditioning then opening a window ever so slightly may do the trick. Use a wall thermometer if you wish to monitor the temperature more closely.

See if you feel more refreshed going to sleep in a slightly cooler environment and take time over a week or so to discover the temperature that seems to work best for you. Not only might you fall asleep faster, you will also hopefully achieve more restful sleep too.

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2. Noise And Music Soundtracks

If your partner or you are serious snorers then ear plugs can certainly help aid sleep. If snoring is disturbing your rest to the point where you feel that it is interfering with your daily functioning, then a trip to the doctors may be in order. Most people need peace and quiet to get to sleep, although there are those who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. If you are a light sleeper or have sensitive hearing then you may find it difficult to block external noises out. For example a ticking alarm clock or the wind and rain outside your window may make getting to sleep a real struggle sometimes.

Have you ever tried solving this by listen to a therapeutic and relaxing mood CD? It does not always have to be sounds of wales and crystals, there are also mood music CD’s which can transport you away from your surroundings into a world of tranquility and calm. Music could help to slow down the rate of your breathing and to make you feel more relaxed and ready for sleeping.

Big comfy headphones are a nice choice as are the more modern wireless ones. The last thing you want is to get tangled up in headphone cables last thing at night! However, if you partner would also like to hear the CD then play it from speakers in your bedroom or on your television if that plays audio tracks.

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3. Creating A Tranquil Environment

How your bedroom is styled does actually impact your mental well being. Do you have a desk and laptop in the corner of the room or a games console and books everywhere? These sorts of things should be out of sight in the evening when you are trying to switch off. Technological distractions may make you feel more alert than you want to be. Invest in a good storage system whereby things can be cleared away and out of sight. Even getting a few storage bins could make all the difference to tidy up your bedroom space.

To create a more tranquil and soothing space perhaps have a small plant in your bedroom. If you are worried about watering it and looking after a plant then consider the many faux flowers on the market which can look just as realistic. Have a soft and lighter linen sheet under your duvet in case you get too warm and choose colors for the room that are calming to you. For example the color blue has been shown to induce a great sense of calmness[3] and more neutral tones such as cream, magnolia, white and soft beige colors will also let your mind slow down and will not prove too much of a distraction. Dark heavy curtains can also help to block out the light if you are a light sleeper and more sensitive to the light.

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4. Relaxation Exercises

When you are trying to go to sleep, focus in on relaxing your body and muscles. Try deep breathing in through your mouth and out via your nose and do this around ten times to notice a difference. Visualize a calm and happy scene from the white sands of a tropical beach to a lush green meadow where the sunlight streams through the trees.

These sorts of scenes can transport you to another world and bring about that sense of serenity and restfulness that sleep desires. Focus on loosening up your muscles from your feet all the way up to your head. Start by curling your toes several times and relaxing them, then tighten and release the tension in your hands and gently roll your shoulders and head back and forth to feel more soothed.

Combining these sorts of relaxation techniques (some of which are physical and others mental exercises) with the music suggestion in tip two could make a lot of difference for you.

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5. Water And Being Comfy

If you can remember to have a glass of water on your bedside table for the night time then this will help if you get a dry or sore throat or if you feel dehydrated suddenly. Wearing comfy clothing to bed can also make all the difference too. Loose fitting and light garments will help you to sleep better and not to feel as claustrophobic or stuffy in the middle of the night. Breathable linen fabrics are a great way to go, especially in the spring and summer months.

Also, in terms of water consider having a relaxing shower or bath before you go to bed[1]. The warming water will help to dilate your blood vessels which will lower your blood pressure and your breathing will slow down too. All the stress you are suffering will seemingly melt away! Try out some new bath salts or a bath melt to make having a bath a more indulgent and relaxing experience that you can look forward to.

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I hope that these five tips provide a little bit of assistance but if you are suffering with severe insomnia or fatigue then do seek out the assistance of a medical professional. Also, ask a doctor if you are considering taking any herbal remedies to aid your sleep, especially if you are currently on any other medications.