Ready for a grim fact? Here goes; one in five adults in the UK aren’t getting enough sleep.
Not catching enough Zzs can cause problems with your brain health, your work, and even your driving. But for people (like me) who know this but somehow can’t manage a minimum of seven hours a night, what are we meant to do?
Well, if you’re doing shift work or have a young child, sometimes the problem is out of your control.
And others may suffer from conditions like insomnia and chronic illness (if you’re regularly not getting enough sleep despite following the best health advice and it’s interfering with your life, consider chatting to a GP).
However, if you simply need some advice on how to better manage your bedtime, Dr. Noc’s helpful TikTok is here with seven strategies to help optimise your nighttime nod-off.
1) Make your sleeping area as dark as you possibly can
“Ideally, zero light gets in,” the doctor said. This can help our body clock to understand that it’s sleeping time ― our eyes are pretty sensitive to light, so don’t skimp on those blackout blinds.
2) Keep your room cold
If you sleep with a heater on, you might want to reconsider your ways, Dr. Nonc suggests. That’s because your body falls asleep easier in the cold ― hence the heatwave-induced sleep deprivation you probably faced last year.
3) Switch your devices off 30 minutes before bed
Although blue light may not be uniquely bad for you when you’re trying to kip, all light can interfere with your brain’s activity ― and scrolling might just keep you too occupied to rest. “It’s a hard one, but you can do it, ” the doctor advises.
4) Be strict about your bedtime
Remember that body clock we were talking about earlier? Well, it’s pretty fond of routine, Dr. Noc says. “Stick to a routine of bedtimes and wake-up times ― even on weekends, ” he suggests. “your body doesn’t know what weekends are.”
5) Cut down on the naps
It was tough for me to hear this ― “Limit daytime naps,” the doctor advises, “especially if you have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.” Ouch...
6) Invest in your workout routine
“Regular, dedicated physical activity ― even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes per day ― that’s much better than nothing,” Dr. Noc says. This can help you to fall asleep faster when you do hit the hay.
7) Cut down on the booze
Alcohol can really interrupt your sleeping schedule, Dr. Noc says. He advises we “limit [our] alcohol... even if it makes you feel like you fall asleep faster, it disrupts the deep, restorative stages of sleep.”
You can watch his entire TikTok here: