Sleep mistakes to avoid if you want a good night’s rest!

Ever wake up feeling like you need a few more hours rest before you can face the world, despite having slept for eight hours? 

The problem might not be how long you're sleeping for – it could be how you're going about it!

Here are some of the more common night time no-nos:

1. You don't have a regular bedtime
Our mammies were onto something when they sent us to bed as soon as the Nine O'Clock News came on every evening. If you go to bed at 10pm one night and 2am the next, your body loses control of its natural rhythms. Try to get to bed within the same one-hour window every evening, and begin winding down for at least 30 minutes beforehand. Turn your laptop off, grab a nice book and get cosy.

2. You sleep on your stomach
We all have our preferred sleeping positions, but sleeping face down is one of most common causes of a bad night's sleep. Not only that, but it will affect your posture in the long run – your neck and back need to twist so that you can turn your head on it's side to breathe. If you find you really can't get to sleep unless you're lying on your stomach, place a thin pillow under your torso to support your spine.

3. You think you'll still get a good night's sleep after a few drinks
Yes, it's always easy to fall asleep after an evening of drinking, but your quality of sleep is definitely reduced. Not only are you more restless, but your brain never gets into a proper deep sleep. If you have a big night ahead, try to slow down your drinking towards the end of the evening and be aware that you may be tired the following day.

4. You binge sleep
It's not possible to store sleep. That's a difficult fact of life right there. And while it's always great to look forward to a Saturday lie-in after a week of very little sleep, you won't wake up any more alert or refreshed. Try to stick to eight or nine hours and get out and about for a stroll in the extra free time – it'll be a lot more beneficial.

5. You eat before you sleep
Not only does this lead to possible heartburn or indigestion, but your body is also too busy digesting what you've just eaten to shut off properly. Try to set an evening cut-off time for your last meal or snack – this'll prevent you picking on junk food late at night, too.

6. You keep your phone by your bed
Even if your mobile is on silent while you sleep, the blue light that's emitted when you get a text or email can stimulate your nervous system and brain and stop you from entering deep sleep mode. Turn your phone off or keep it in another room and rely on a standard alarm clock to wake you up instead!