7 easy steps to better sleep
Lack of sleep is not good for anyone, particularly for those with epilepsy. In some individuals being overtired can even make a seizure more likely to occur. Below are a few tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.
1. Have a sleeping schedule
Head off to bed and get up at the same time every day. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep cycle and help promotes better sleep at night.
Tip: If you’re struggling to fall asleep after 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. The more you toss and turn the more stressed you will get about falling asleep.
2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink
Don’t go to bed hungry or full as your discomfort might keep you up at night. Try not to consume large amounts of liquids before bed; the last thing you want is multiple trips to the toilet.
Tip: Stay away from nicotine and alcohol. Caffeine takes hours to wear off and will damage your quality of sleep.
3. Create a bedtime ritual
Do the same things each night to tell your body to wind down. Relaxing activities promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.
Tip: Turn off your phone, tablet or laptop and read a book. Reading helps de-stress your mind and body, which will in affect get you off to sleep quicker.
4. Get comfortable
Make sure your bedroom is ideal for sleeping and suits your needs. Keep your room cool, dark and quiet.
Tip: Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, so make sure you consider this when purchasing new bedding.
5. Control daytime naps
Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you choose to nap during the day, make sure you limit them to about 20-30 minutes, preferably in the afternoon. A short nap will help improve your short-term alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.
Tip: Your sleep environment can greatly impact your ability to fall asleep. Make sure that you have a restful place to lie down.
6. Managing stress
Stress is a common factor for sleep disturbance. Adding a physical activity to your routine will help de-stress your mind before bedtime, increasing your chances of a restful sleep.
Tip: Before bed, jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.
7. Still not getting enough Zzzz, contact your GP
If you often have trouble sleeping and you think it is affecting you negatively, it can be helpful to speak to your local GP.