Establish a relaxing sleeping routine
Take some time out to wind down before you go to bed. Activities like reading or taking a bath, can help you separate your sleep-time from what’s been going on in your everyday life.

Though being active throughout the day promotes a better night’s sleep, you should avoid excess physical activity in the 1-2 hours leading to bedtime to allow the body to relax.

It may also be worth writing a “to do” list for the following day so you can organise your thoughts and clear your mind ahead of the next day.

Optimise your sleeping environment
As many businesses have chosen to adopt a more flexible, hybrid working policy going forward, it is important to think about where you are working when at home. Avoid working from your bedroom if you are still working remotely. Associating your bedroom with a workplace may stop you from ‘winding down’ when you do want to go to sleep on an evening.

Remove digital equipment from your bedroom to avoid checking it if you wake up as they can make it more difficult to go back to sleep. You could try using an old-fashioned alarm clock instead of your phone to remove this temptation.

Importantly, during a heatwave you should also make sure your room is at optimum temperature – aiming for it to be between 18-21 degrees Celsius – and make sure your bedroom has good blackout blinds, as unwanted light and heat may disrupt your sleep cycle.

No napping – only sleep!
If you are having trouble sleeping at night in the warmer months, you could be tempted to catch up with naps when you finish work on an evening. The more you do nap, the less likely your body will be ‘ready’ for sleep when the time arrives to.

If you feel like you are getting tired during the day, stand up and take a walk, get some fresh air or do something that will challenge your brain for a while, such as a crossword or word search.

Avoid stimulants before sleeping
The effects of stimulants can take hours to wear off and can have a big impact on how quickly you fall to sleep and the quality of it when you do.

Nicotine causes your heart rate and alertness to increase meaning that you feel more awake before you go to sleep. Nicotine enters the bloodstream within a few minutes but after a few hours it will begin to leave your body and due to its addictiveness, your brain will wake you up for more nicotine causing a more disruptive night.

Alcohol may make you feel drowsy, but it can disrupt you later in the night and won’t allow you to fall into the deep sleep that you need. Avoid caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee before bed, however some studies suggest that malty drinks or warm milk could aid sleep.

Tips shared by Cheryl Lythgoe at Benenden Health.