Getting in eight hours of sleep a night is a necessity for a healthy life, but it’s not always attainable. You can be kept up by stress, or even just stay up late to watch a movie. So some late nights are inevitable, and it’s likely you’ll get stressed from time to time, but what can you do before bed to make sure you have the best night’s sleep?

1. Switch off all electronic devices

We’ve all been there – you climb into bed and you remember that you forgot to check your Instagram feed. Then you fall down the rabbit hole of scrolling endlessly through apps and sites on your phone, and before you know it, an hour has passed. Have at least a half hour free zone from electronics before going to bed. In addition to distracting you, phones and laptops keep your mind very active, and can stop you from getting to sleep if you use them right before bed.

2. Read a book before bed

Reading has a lot of health benefits, and is good for your mental health, but it’s also a good activity to practise before bed, especially if you’d usually have a phone in your hand instead of a book. Take an adventure in a story for a few chapters before you go to sleep, and you’ll drift off to sleep much better.

3. Make sure your sleep conditions are perfect

Everyone is different – some people like to have some light in the room, others like pitch black. Whatever your perfect conditions are, don’t compromise on them. Make sure before you get into bed that everything is in position so you don’t have to get up again. Also, though it can be a chore, make your bed properly. You won’t sleep well if a corner of the sheet isn’t properly tucked, or you keep getting tangled in your duvet.

4. Have water by your bed

If you’re thirsty in the night, it can really disrupt your sleep, especially if you have to get up and get some. Always make sure you have a large bottle of water by your bed, so you won’t run out. Also ensure not to drink anything other than water before bed – coffee, tea and milk are all likely to disrupt your sleep.

5. Don’t snack for at least two hours before bed

It’s a well-known fact that eating before bed is a bad idea. It makes you more bloated and you gain more weight late at night. If you’re eating something with a high sugar content, it may also make you feel too energetic to sleep. Even a healthy option like a banana can perk you up too much to allow you to settle down.

6. Go to bed at the same time as your partner

This can be hard if one of you is a night owl and the other loves the morning, but it’s good to get into a compromising habit. If you go to sleep early, it’s likely your partner disrupts you when they come to bed, or the other way around. This can mean you get woken up when otherwise, you would have slept soundly through the night. If you can’t find a compromise that works for whatever reason, invest in some earplugs and an eye mask to block out the environment.

7. Make enough time for sleep

It may seem like an obvious thing to say, but often when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, we sacrifice sleep time to do other things. However, having eight hours sleep is essential for productivity and getting through long days. You’re better going to sleep and leaving the task at hand until the morning when you’re refreshed and raring to go.

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