Top 5 tips for better sleep

Most people who have had trouble sleeping or insomnia will have heard some of these and not had a lot of faith. They won’t fix your sleep straight away but if practiced regularly then good habits will make for great results.

  1. Sex and sleep are the only two things you should do in your bed (sex can even be outside the bed!)Ever notice how certain things put you to sleep? Your brain is always making associations and it needs to have a strong association with bed = sleep and nothing else.
  2. Keep a consistent wake up time.This one is so much more important than people realise. When you sleep in you set you body clock back by a matter of hours which reduces it’s sleep appetite and makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  3. Wait until you’re sleepy before going to bedGoing to bed early to catch up on sleep won’t work but waiting until you’re sleepy will. Don’t worry about trying to catch up on sleep by having ‘an early night’. If you’re sleep deprived your body will sleep more deeply for you.
  4. If you’re still awake after 20 minutes get out of bedThis is also about associating bed with sleep in your brain. Insomnia is like quicksand the harder you try to get to sleep the more awake you become. Do something slightly interesting like listen to a podcast or audiobook.
  5. Don’t nap!Or set a 20-30 min timer if you really have to nap. If you feel like you need a pick me up and coffee isn’t enough then the best way to generate more energy is to exercise.

SA Health has some great information on insomnia, stimulus control and the phenomenon of conditioned insomnia (where your brain becomes conditioned to sleep poorly).

Also read my other blog post on the three key regulators of sleep


sleep asleep Dr. Matt Barber