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How to sleep better

How to sleep better 

According to research 30 per cent of Brits suffer from insomnia. Sleep yoga is the latest fix for weary souls in the Big Smoke. It places relaxation of body and mind at the core of a restful night. It’s not available in Edinburgh yet, but there are other ways to help you nod off naturally. 

Firstly, if the festive season was full of alcohol induced slumbers, it’s time to skip the night cap. As your blood alcohol concentration declines, it has a sedative effect which makes you drift off. But during the night you start to experience withdrawal symptoms, making sleep fragmented and light. If you have had a few tipples, dilute the effects with plenty of water. 

Another important rule is to keep your bed sacred. It’s for sleep – not children, not pets and certainly not work. Cleanse your room of distractions such as electrical equipment and if you enjoy reading in bed, try to avoid back lit devices like iPads. The optimum temperature for sleep is a cool 18°C. 

Anxiety is one of the main causes of sleep deprivation. Difficulty switching off after a busy day or worrying about the day ahead can cause restlessness. First of all, write down anything that’s on your mind and tell yourself you will think about it in the morning. If this doesn’t help, get up for a short time to break your thought pattern. Managing your worries during the day can also help to limit the amount of stress you take to bed. 

If you wake up during the night, getting back to sleep can be difficult. Turning on lights will make you more alert so avoid it if you can. Though it’s easier said than done, try not to worry about being awake. The key to drifting off is relaxation so make this, rather than falling asleep, your goal. 

For herbal sleeping remedies visit Napiers, 18 Bistro Pl, EH1 1EZ, Tel: 0131 225 5542, www.napiers.net or for information on complementary therapy visit The Whole Works, Jackson’s Close, EH1 1PZ, Tel: 0131 225 8092, www.thewholeworks.co.uk 

words Sarah Garden