7 ways to get a better night’s sleep

Diabetes can have a big effect on sleep. High blood glucose levels, sleep apnea, night-time hypos – there are a range of ways that diabetes can leave you feeling unsatisfied with your sleep, and tired the next day.

The opposite is also true. Poor sleeping habits can cause type 2 diabetes.

These seven sleeping tips should help you get a better night’s rest.

Fixed sleeping time

1. Have a fixed sleeping time

Aim to get at least six hours sleep per night. If your schedule allows it, eight hours is even better. To do that, pick a bedtime and a waking up time, and stick to it.

If you stick to regular sleeping hours, your body will get used to dropping off at that time, making it easier to get to sleep. It will also make your routine more structured and less hectic, allowing you to sleep more peacefully.

Unfortunately, that means no napping. However tempting it might be. Napping disrupts your sleep rhythms, which, once you’ve decided on your fixed sleeping hours, should be nice and settled.

On a similar note…

sleeping late

2. Don’t sleep in at the weekends

Try to maintain the same fixed sleeping pattern every day. That means at the weekend, too. Having a lie-in at the weekends, although tempting, can disrupt the flow of your metabolism.

Avoid alcohol before bed

3. Avoid alcohol before bed

At first, alcohol makes you feel sleepy, but it has a stimulating effect later on. If you have a drink just before bed, you’ll disrupt your sleep. You might wake up much earlier than you planned to. Or you might just have poor quality sleep, leaving you feeling tired the next day.

bed is for sleep

4. Train your brain

Teach your brain that the bed is only for sleeping and some other, grown-up, things. That means not working in bed, or browsing the internet in bed, or anything like that. If you associate bed with all kinds of non-sleeping activities, your brain won’t naturally be inclined to drift off.

Meditation before bed

5. Practice relaxation and meditation techniques

Practice mindfulness and other breathing exercises to help you switch off from outside concerns. Most of the anxieties that disturb our sleep are about the future. By meditating, we take our minds off the future and focus on the present moment. This helps us have a better night’s sleep, which in turn helps us face those things as we get to them.

screens before bed

6. Avoid screens before bed

The light from bright screens wakes our brains up. Research also suggests that it disrupts our circadian rhythms, which, among other things, help us to maintain healthy, consistent sleep.

sleeping like a baby

7. Avoid leaving tasks till the morning

Try to get everyday tasks done the night before. That includes things like choosing your outfit and making your lunch. By getting these tiny stressors out of the way, you’ll sleep more peacefully. Like a baby.

Know someone who needs a good night’s sleep? Share this blog with your friends, and spread a few sweet dreams.

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About the author

Kurt Wood

Kurt is 22 years old, but he looks about five. He was born in Coventry and enjoys novels in which nothing much happens and comfortable pyjamas (because he's young and exciting). In 2014, he was once again overlooked for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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