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How to Combat Insomnia

On the back of the “drifting off to the land of nod” news item, by client demand, here are some more tips on how to enjoy a sleep-filled night!

  • Avoid computers, tablets, smartphones and flat-screen TVs before you go to bed: they all emit blue light, which stimulates the brain. If you must use a device, keep it at least 30cm away from your eyes and turn down the brightness.
  • Don’t drink alcohol just before going to bed – you could try eating carbohydrates instead, such as a banana or a piece of toast.
  • Getting regular exercise is important – to feel the full effects, aim for at least an hour’s vigorous activity, such as running, each week (or anything else that leaves you really out of breath!) If you enjoy working out, time this around 6 hours before bedtime, no later.
  • If you wake up in the night and can’t get back to sleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed for a while and do some kind of non-stimulating activity – brew up and have a sit down, you’ll be tired again before you know it.
  • Don’t rely on any particular rituals or habits before you go to bed, such as reading for a certain length of time, expecting this to help you drift off. Obsessing over such activities can make you even more anxious about getting off to sleep.

Why we sleep is one of life’s enduring mysteries – we spend about a third of our lives doing it and if deprived of it for too long, we become physically ill. So, start making friends with the wonder of slumber and embrace it as your secret to long life and prosperity……..and no, that’s not me quoting my hero, Mr. Spock with his Vulcan salutation of “Live Long & Prosper”, but rather my reminding you of that old adage from school: early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!

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