The ABCs of Sleep



Sleep sleep sleep

It always seems as if there just isn’t enough time in the day or enough sleep!

I was reflecting this evening that; if someone invented a magic, permanent cure for sleep issues, they would be a billionaire a billion times over.

Here are the ABC’s of sleep

A : Avoid caffeine, nicotine & alcohol after 3pm. This affects initiating & maintaining sleep.

B: Bed is for sleeping – Not working, watching series, etc

C: Calm environment promotes sleep. Keep your room uncluttered with soft lighting and a gentle scent such as lavender or chamomile. Make sure bedding is comfortable & not too hot or too cold. Consider a fan in summer (also helps with mosquitoes).

D: Don’t read or watch anything stimulating prior to bed

E: Exercise aids sleep but should be done before 6pm

F: Follow a similar bedtime routine night after night. This aids in priming the sleep center and helping to promote sleep.

G: Get out of bed & go to another room and read if you don’t fall asleep within the hour. Don’t keep on tossing and turning in bed.

H: Hot bath & hot drink prior to bed promotes sleep

I: Insomnia is usually a symptom, not a diagnosis. Ask your doctor to exclude underlying depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other medical issues.

J: Jot down worries on a notepad that you keep next to your bed that can be addressed in the morning.

K: Kindles (or paperbacks) are preferable to tablets or phones as they do not radiate blue light which keeps us awake.

L: Limit time spent in bed. Don’t nap during day or sleep in if you are battling to sleep at night.

M: Melatonin is available at some chemists or pharmacies and can help promote sleep

N: Napping is a ‘Big No-No’

O: Oxygenation of the body may be an issue with obstructive sleep apnea which can result in frequent waking. Ask your doctor to screen for this.

P: Play classical music or a boring audiobook in the background

Q: Quiet time leading up to bed helps the brain register that it is time to wind down

R: Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, stretching prior to bed can help the mind and body to relax

S: Stress impacts sleep. Try not to add to your stress by stressing over not sleeping. Sleep will come.

T: Tomorrow’s worries are for tomorrow.

U: Unwind from your day. Stop working at least 2 hours prior to bedtime.

V: Vivid dreams could be a sign of substance misuse, medication side effects or an underlying sleep disorder, ask your doctor to assess for this

W: Water should be limited to 1 hour before bedtime to avoid nighttime trips to the toilet.

eX: hale! Breathe deeply! And sleep will come.


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