Sleep and Sleeping Problems

May 23, 2022 | Teacher's Corner

There are 3 vitally important things in our lives – exercise , sleep and a healthy diet. A good night’s sleep is essential to rest and restore the body physically and mentally. We have all experienced wakeful nights and as wives and mothers it often starts with the birth of your first baby.

Identify your Patterns

Throughout our children’s lives we are woken at night and as adolescents we worry about our children when they stay out late at night. Then in our fiftes we experience menopause resulting in a decrease in estrogen and progesterone. This causes hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings all of which affect sleep patterns.

Difficulty sleeping is a very common problem and there are many ways of treating it. Here are 16 evidence-based tips on how to sleep better at night.


Increase bright light exposure during the day

Natural sunlight and bright light help keep your circadian rhythm healthy . It helps daytime energy as well as sleep quality and duration.

Identify your sleep patterns

Reduce blue light in the evening

Blue light is emitted by electronic devices and has a negative effect on circadian rhythm . There are glasses available to block the blue light as well as an app to reduce the blue light emitted.


Don’t consume caffeine late in the day

Caffeine stay elevated in the blood for 5-6 hours so avoid drinking coffee after 3-4pm.


Reduce irregular and long daytime naps

Daytime naps confuse the internal clock and can negatively affect night time sleep.


Try to sleep and wake at consistent times.

Get into the habit of waking up and going to bed at similar times .This helps the body adapt to regular sleeping patterns.


Take a melatonin supplement

Melatonin is the key sleep hormone telling your body to relax and go to bed. It is also useful when travelling and adjusting to a new time zone.


Other useful supplements

Several supplements including lavender and magnesium can help sleep quality.


Don’t drink alcohol

Avoid alcohol before bed as it can cause dilation of the blood vessels making you feel hot. It also leads to disrupted sleep.

Optimise your bedroom environment

Eliminate external light and noise.

Set the bedroom temperature

Around 20’ is best for most people. Use a fan or air conditioning in mid summer.

Don’t eat a big meal late at night

A very full stomach can disrupt your sleep.

Relax and clear your mind in evening

Anxiety and stress are a major factor in creating sleep difficulties . Try any relaxation technique – deep breathing, a warm bath or meditation can all help.

Rule out any sleep disorder

Conditions such as sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome, or any joint or nerve pain can cause sleeplessness. Consult a doctor if necessary.

Get a comfortable bed, mattress and pillow

This is essential especially to anyone with joint or back pain.

Exercise regularly but not before bed

This is essential – it enhances sleep as it stimulates hormones , reduces stress and promotes good sleep.

Don’t drink liquids before going to bed

This increases the need to use the bathroom at night.


I hope this is helpful. Sleep tight !!! 


(Alison Lund)
Healthline  by Rudy Mawer MSc, CISSN   20th February 2020