A recent survey showed more than 28m people in the UK regularly get no more than seven hours sleep a night. Here Monique Hart, founder of the Hart Spa, gives her top tips for falling asleep fast

Words Monique Hart

Sleep affects all areas of our lives, emotional, physical and mental, so following simple and trusted methods to get a better night’s sleep will give you more energy and mental clarity and allow you to deal with everything life throws at you. Here are six ways to do so

Remove all electrical items from your bedroom
No TV and most definitely no mobile phones or tablets in your bedroom. The blue light emitted from these devices suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and of course using these devices will also mean your brain is not in a relaxed state meaning it will take longer to switch off and sleep. Also ensuring your phone is out of the bedroom means you can’t check messages and emails every few minutes and is one easy way to lower stress levels and ensure your mind is calm.

Indulge in a massage
A massage can offer the benefit equivalent to seven hours of sleep so one massage a week can help you catch up on those lost hours, plus the essential oils used in such a massage will aid peaceful sleep.

Watch your diet
What you eat and when you eat can have an effect on the quality of your sleep. Cut down on sugary foods and don’t drink caffeine in the evening, also avoid heavy meals at least two hours before you go to bed. Stay hydrated otherwise your body won’t function well and sleep will be affected.

Exercise
The National Sleep Foundation poll in 2013 found that exercise greatly improves sleep, and that vigorous exercisers report the best sleep. I recommend yoga – it is know to aid sleep with techniques like yoga nidra and meditation. In The Hart spa we use these principles and mindfulness techniques to aid relaxation and sleep.

Prepare properly for sleep
An hour before bedtime, light a candle and wind down. I recommend one with essentails oils, their ability to enhance and deepen sleep are well known and have been practiced for thousands of years. Essential oils activate receptor neurones when inhaled and send signals to the brain to tell you to relax. This will bring comfort to a stressed nervous system to deliver peace and encourage sleep.

Don’t forget to take extra care of your skin
A recent US study showed that lack of sleep can double the signs of ageing in women, as skin becomes dehydrated and lines become more visible. I recommend you hydrate and calm skin with a facial mist that includes hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate the skin and body.

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