4 Sleep tactics to minimise disturbances and help you snooze more soundly

Sleep is something we all need but that some of us find difficult to achieve. Aside from lifestyle elements that might keep you awake - children, work patterns, caffeine - there are other important factors that can have an impact on your ability to sleep soundly. Here are some tactics to tackle those disturbances...

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If you’ve ever struggled to sleep, you’ll know what kind of effect this can have on your body, brain and even your mood throughout the day. No-one should have to go without sleep so I thought I would share some handy hacks I’ve come across over the years.

I’ve previously written about some lifestyle factors that can help to improve your quality of sleep, including movement, routines and even the timing of your first cup of tea in the morning, but what can you do to make sure you sleep more soundly? There are some practical things you can do to get a better, more restful night…

1. Remove light

If you’ve ever tried to sleep when it’s not dark outside, you’ll know how difficult it is to drift off in the day. This is because the body’s circadian rhythm responds to daylight, helping us to wake up in the bright mornings and to feel drowsy when the sun sets.

Because of this innate sleep-wake cycle, it can be hard to sleep at any time that’s not night – which is not good news for shift workers – and even the slightest bit of light coming in from outside can disturb your sleep pattern. It’s therefore a good idea to choose blackout curtains for bedrooms as the thicker material and blackout lining will help to block out any natural light.

Even the glow from street lighting can cause trouble when you’re trying to sleep and the on-off of the neighbour’s security light can have you waking up with a start, on high-alert. So, anything you can do to keep light at bay will definitely help you to sleep more soundly, whatever time of day it is.

2. Block sounds

If you’ve ever had a baby – or a cat for that matter! – you’ll know that the brain can wake you from the deepest slumber if your child (or kittie, or puppy) makes even the smallest sound during the night. That’s because our bodies are programmed to respond when our offspring needs us, whatever time of day it is.

Therefore, unwanted sounds can be a key cause of sleep problems. And that’s the case whether or not there are children or pets in your home. But, if there are noise around, how can I improve the quality of my sleep? Instead of blocking sounds from within your home, I’m talking more about minimising the noises coming from outside.

Alarms, vehicles, other people and even wildlife like owls, foxes and birds can disturb your sleep. So there are a couple of things you can do to keep exterior noise to a minimum. For a start, double-glazed or triple-glazed windows make a massive difference. If you’ve ever opened the window and heard just how noisy the nearby road is, you’ll know what a difference they make acoustically.

Secondly, if you have the option of choosing a different room to sleep in, you can choose to have your bedroom at the back of the house, away from the road, putting a little extra space between you and the external noises.

Finally, if noise from adjoining neighbours is a problem, you can soundproof your walls. Soundproofing materials are no longer the reserve of music recording studios; you can get acoustic panelling with a variety of finishes including lovely wooden slats to dampen down the noise levels within your home.

3. Keep comfortable

I didn’t realise what a difference your bedding can make to the quality of your sleep until I tried pure linen sheets. To get a better night’s sleep it’s a good idea to choose bed sheets and duvets with natural finishes such as pure cotton, linen, wool and so on.

Those natural fibres are more breathable than synthetic fibres, which means they’ll help to keep you cool by wicking away moisture. If you’ve ever tried to sleep in a hot room in hot weather, you’ll know how hard it can be to snooze while scorching, so the cooler you can be, the better!

4. Minimise distractions

Finally, and probably quite obviously, you’ll get a better night’s sleep if you don’t have any distractions in the bedroom. I don’t just mean not having a TV in the room – I mean anything that can set your brain on alert. This includes the stand-by lights on appliances and sockets; it’s amazing how much of a glow they create in the dark when you’ve eliminated all other light sources!

Likewise, if you have a phone nearby, even on silent, your eyes and ears will pick up on the slight vibrations or the screen lighting up if you get a notification during the night. And then, once it has disturbed you and you’ve picked up your phone, you might as well say goodbye to sleep.

We all know how easily half an hour can disappear once you start scrolling, so put your phone in another room altogether. If you use your phone as an alarm, now’s the time to get a classic alarm clock – preferably one that doesn’t tick or light up – and set that to wake you in the morning instead.

What else would you add to this list of sleep tactics? Have you found a bedtime hack that works for you? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear your top tips.

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This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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