Sleep

Problems with sleep can affect how you feel physically and mentally, and how you feel can also affect how you sleep. Certain medications can also affect your sleep, causing you to sleep too much or not enough.

To get better sleep, you could try:

  • Relaxing before bed with a warm bath, reading a book or listening to the radio
  • Exercising regularly but avoiding vigorous exercise too close to bedtime
  • Cutting down on caffeine, especially in the evening
  • Avoiding too much food or alcohol late at night
  • Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day
  • Having a bedroom that is dark and quiet
  • Having a comfortable bed
  • Not having a TV in the bedroom

If you can’t get to sleep, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you feel sleepy.

If you regularly have problems sleeping, then you could discuss this with your GP. Sometimes, GPs or psychiatrists may offer you medication to help you sleep. You should try to use these as little as possible because they are not generally a long-term solution.

You might find trying to make some of the changes above help to make longer lasting improvements to your sleep.

The website 'How did you sleep?' (www.howdidyousleep.org) provides a guide to improving your sleep. You can call the Mental Health Foundation for a hard copy of the guide on 020 7803 1101 (the first copy is free)

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