This Morning’s Dr Zoe Williams has revealed the best tips to help you beat insomnia – including a pretty unconventional one that helped her.
The healthcare expert, who’s expecting her first child, explained that she really struggled with getting to sleep during her first year of university.
‘I used to get up, get into my pyjamas, get ready for bed, put a movie on in the living room and fall asleep in the living room,’ she explained, before recalling that once she got into bed, she’d be ‘wide awake’.
She added: ‘Somebody advised me, “why don’t you take the pillows and put them at the foot of the bed and sleep in the bed the wrong way round?” and it worked!’
While Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond were left a little puzzled, she insisted it worked, but pointed out that it might not work for everyone, as each person’s sleep habits are so different.
However, she was quick to explain that there are some general tips that are worth a try if you’re struggling to get to sleep.
Train the brain with a bedtime routine
Dr Zoe stressed that a bedtime routine is essential to train your brain into recognising that it’s time to sleep.
Turning off screens at least half an hour, or ideally an hour, before bed can help, as well as turning lights down and avoiding any caffeine.
The key is to make sure you do the same thing every night, whether it’s having a bath, having a milky drink, lighting candles, or reading a book.
‘Your brain starts to identify that this is now time to go sleep,’ Dr Zoe pointed out.
Avoid exercise right before bed
While Dermot was convinced that exercise could help you get to sleep, it has to be done at the right time.
Dr Zoe pointed out that exercising too close to going to bed could mean that the adrenaline and endorphins that are released stop you from getting to sleep.
Exercising earlier on, however, could help you stay alert during the day.
Keep your bedroom relaxing
While it might be difficult for many working from home at the moment, it’s important to keep your bedroom a relaxing place.
Dr Zoe didn’t mince her words as she said: ‘Our bedroom should be two things only – it should be for sleep and for sex.’
If you have to work in your bedroom, at night you can cover your work station, or at least pack away your laptop, so you’re not constantly thinking about work.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
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