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Sleep Deprived? Here's How To Get A Better Night's Rest

Sleep, do you recall that wonderful luxury, 8 whole hours of pure bliss? Unfortunately, now more than ever, it isn't uncommon to become sleep deprived. With reasons ranging from insomnia, stress, a new baby or children finding it harder to sleep due to anxiety - not to mention night terrors and scrolling on social media. We are losing out on much needed hours of important sleep.

Cut it out - screen time that is

Yes, you, the social media pro, or should we say addict? It's time to cut it out, at least at bedtime. Our phones, tablets, iPads and any other devices are one of the biggest bedtime distractions. Are you one of those click out of Instagram, tap into Twitter - only to then return to Instagram types, yes? No shade, we are too. It does no good for bedtime though and makes winding down so much harder, as our brains are still very much still wired from all the information we are consuming. Plus you've just got to give those adrenal glands a rest.

Try creating a box where all gadgets can be placed at night. For those that need their phones in case of an emergency, switch to vibrate and leave out of arms reach, across the room, and not on the night stand.

Establish a simple and solid routine for you and your children

Try switching all screens off an hour or two before bedtime. Create a cosy area in your child's bedroom, where you can all relax, with some cushions and soft blankets. Read 15 mins prior to bedtime, or use an audio book on low volume. This will help your child relax and come down from the days activities. Once they are in bed, the issue we know is keeping them in bed. The key to succeeding at this is consistency. If the routine is repeated every night, then she will know what follows and will be less likely to object to bedtime - problem solved.

Sleep Aids...the good stuff

What are you drinking?...

What you eat or drink before bed can wreak havoc on getting a good nights rest. As most of us are running around fuelled on coffee during the day, when it comes to the evening we may be highly caffeinated. If you're used to having a hot beverage after dinner or before bed - drinks such as coffee or tea should be switched to decaf. This also applies to sugary drinks too - as they can cause an extreme sugar rush and who wants to be bouncing off the walls at 11pm?

Wind down at 10

If you want better sleep, then you're going to have to make some sacrifices. Obviously there are some exceptions to this and the odd late work or movie night surely can't mean you'll manage to be in bed by 10pm. Thats fine. But implementing a 10pm bedtime will simply mean that you can get 8 hours (or try to at least) of pure bedtime bliss.

Cat naps - are called cat naps for a reason

Day time naps for some should be a major no no (with exception to nursing mothers of course and young children). For some they can simply back fire. Ever had a nap during the day for over 30 mins and by 10pm you are wider than wide awake? For many people this resets your sleep cycle and can have a negative effect on your body clock and may even affect your sleep the following day. However, some require naps as a result of exhaustion or medical issues, and those people should aim for a limit of 30 minutes max, so as not to interfere with their night time rest.

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