LIFESTYLE
27/02/2014 08:47 GMT | Updated 27/02/2014 08:59 GMT

Can't Sleep? Try Switching Off Before Lights Off

For many of us, getting the recommended eight hours sleep every night is about as likely as pigs sprouting wings and flying off into the sunset. Translation: not very likely at all.

But with lack of sleep linked to a hoard of health problems - including heart disease , diabetes and stress - it's important to get as many many of those forty winks as possible.

According to recent findings, we're our own worst enemy in the bedroom. Instead of allowing our minds to wind down after a hectic day, many of us spend that precious sleep time faffing around.

dog

The study, which polled 2,573 people, found that the average Briton’s nightly ritual consists of checking social media four times, watching 17 minutes of TV, preparing their outfit for the next day and reading three pages of a book.

“It’s easy to forget how important sleep is to ensuring we’re enabling our minds and bodies to rest and rejuvenate," said Jed MacEwan, managing director of memory foam mattress specialist Ergoflex, who funded the study.

"The ideal nightly ritual in the half an hour before sleep would include very little, allowing our bodies to begin unwinding and getting prepared for a good night’s sleep. The more you do before bed, the more active your brain is, therefore the longer it may take to get to sleep.”

See Also:

How To Switch Off From Technology (And How It Will Benefit Your Wellbeing)

10 Top Tips For Stress-Free Sleep

According to the results, the most common ‘bedtime rituals’ as done by more than half of respondents were as follows:

  • 1. Check social media – 74%
  • 2. Watch a TV programme / film – 67%
  • 3. Prepare outfit for the next day – 63%
  • 4. Read a book – 55%
  • 5. Make the bed – 51%

What's stopping you getting into bed earlier? Let us know in the comments below.