How to sleep: The ‘critical stage’ in preparing for bed after the clock change – key tip

Doctor explains why you should ‘never sleep in the nude’

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Not getting enough sleep can cause an array of issues, and getting enough of it at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health and quality of life. Many people will sometimes find it hard to fall asleep or wake up in the night. For most, sleep problems tend to sort themselves out within about a month, according to the NHS. After the clock change, many people might be more anxious about their sleep.

People with insomnia will regularly find it hard to go to sleep, can wake up several times during the night and lie awake at night.

They might also find it difficult to concentrate during the day because they are tired, or wake up early and find they cannot go back to sleep.

If you have insomnia for less than three months, it is called short-term insomnia.

Insomnia that lasts three months or longer is called long-term insomnia.

“Some people are naturally lighter sleepers or take longer to drop off, while some life circumstances might make it more likely for your sleep to be interrupted, like stressful events or having a new baby,” the NHS states.

If poor sleep is affecting your daily life or causing you distress, you can talk to your GP.

The NHS says that you need to wind down before bed, and get relaxed.

It states: “Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed. There are lots of ways to relax”. DON’T MISS

The health body recommends a warm bath as this will help your body reach a temperature that’s ideal for rest.

It adds that reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind by distracting it, and that you should avoid using smartphones, tablets or other electronic devices for an hour or so before you go to bed “as the light from the screen on these devices may have a negative effect on sleep”.

The health body adds that some people find it useful to write down their worries and concerns, and set aside time before bed to make a list for the next day, if these stresses keep you awake.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it says you should cut down on caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks or colas, especially in the evening.Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep, and also prevents deep sleep.

There are a number of tips and tricks out there, though not all will work for everyone. There are also some foods which may be able to help you get a good night’s rest.

The Sleep Foundation has outlined a number of foods which may be able to help you sleep.

The site says: “Both diet and sleep are complex, which means there’s no silver bullet or single food that is guaranteed to help with sleep. However, there are some foods and drinks that may make it easier to get a great night’s sleep.”

These include kiwifruit. Kiwifruit possess numerous vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and E as well as potassium and folate.

Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. On average adults need seven to nine hours, while children need nine to 13 hours.

Toddlers and babies need 12 to 17 hours of sleep, every day.“You probably do not get enough sleep if you’re constantly tired during the day,” states the NHS website.

People who smoke also tend to take longer to fall asleep, wake up more frequently, and often have more disrupted sleep.Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.

These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things. Therefore, one key to taking a successful nap comes down to timing.

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