5 tips for a better night’s kip

Source: Kristina Kuncevick via Flickr.

By Anna Dutton

We’ve all had those nights: tossing and turning under the duvets; too hot, too cold; no position seems comfortable. You feel robbed of your sleeping right and no one wants that – sleeping is one of our favourite activities. So, here’s a few tips and tricks to revamp a night’s sleep.

Tip number one: avoid eating heavy meals before bed. Meals high in fat content (this unfortunately includes a curry) are likely to cause indigestion before you sleep sometimes causing a restless night. This is not to say you shouldn’t eat richer foods, just eat them a couple of hours before sleeping to give your body time to digest them before you sleep.

Tip number two: this technique aims to organise your thoughts before you sleep. Sometimes, after working late your brain can find it difficult to organise the day’s activities. For some people this works, for me personally (and others I’m sure) it can be frustrating when your brain won’t shut up. A solution: pick a category, for example dog breeds. Then, go through the alphabet naming dog breeds, e.g. A for Alsatian, B for Beagle etc. By focusing on something, your brain is forced to organise your thoughts. If you find your brain wandering whilst doing this exercise, re-focus it; only think about the category and not the food you want for breakfast. In my personal experience this works really well- I’m usually asleep by the letter N!

Tip number three: a hot bath or shower has been shown to induce sleep. After a bath or shower, your body temperature changes when you get out, making you feel tired. This is helpful if you are having difficulty sleeping.

Tip number four: avoid thinking too much before sleeping. Naturally students are nocturnal creatures, so working at night is common, but where possible, stop work half an hour/ an hour before bed- substitute the fat textbook you’ve been ploughing through for your favourite film.

Tip number five: lavender. If after all this, sleeping is still an impossible task for you, lavender may be helpful. The smell of lavender is calming, so if you place a sprig of fresh lavender under your pillow or even next to you, it can help induce sleep for the weary-minded. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help those of you having trouble sleeping- cold Cardiff nights may well rejuvenate your tired mind.

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