Getting off to the land of nod promptly – as opposed to tossing and turning for half an hour or more – is key.
So here are 5 tips for arriving in dreamland soon after your head hits the pillow – 6 if you include buying a blackout roller blind from us here at Made To Measure, to stop the moonlight or street lighting thwarting your efforts, because even a slight chink of light can make a difference.
Our selection of Blackout blinds
You’ll be pleased to know that counting sheep doesn’t feature, but some of our suggestions are slightly left of field, so bear with us and give ’em a go.
Yep, we know that sounds whacky, but experts say one tip is to have a regular bed-time, so instead of having ‘five more minutes’ on Facebook or ‘one more flip through the TV channels’ taking you through to 1am, set your alarm for a designated bed-time and stick to it.
• Warm up your tootsies
Cold feet are going to keep you awake, but we’re assuming you don’t want to go down the woolly socks or hot water bottle route. No, thought not, so instead tuck the sheet in at the bottom of the bed or have a blanket covering just your feet.
Seriously, we’re not packing you off to the expensive gym for a full workout every day (ugh, what a thought) but a short time of daily exercise will work wonders for your health as well as preparing your body for sleep. Just one 15 to 20-minute brisk walk in the evening will make a huge difference. You can spare the time and the energy. Yes, really – you can.
A book at bedtime. The BBC has been running a programme with that title for decades, so there must be some merits to it. The first series started on Friday, January 21, 1949, with The Three Hostages by John Buchan, so if you haven’t read that yet, it seems like a good place to start.
Even with a thriller, you will soon find your eyes starting to droop, so if you can have your reading light on a timer you can just nod off safe in the knowledge that it won’t be left on all night.
• Listen to some music or a radio programme, again with a timer
You won’t want to have AC/DC on full volume or a frenetic, fast-moving comedy show in your lughole, but something soothing will help. Even the low, rhythmic voices of a much-loved character in a gentle sitcom on BBC iPlayer can help – as long as you put the volume down very low so you can only just hear it.
If your partner doesn’t want to listen, just pop an earphone in one ear and listen like that. It’ll drop out when you drop off, and even before the programme ends you’ll be well away.
And finally … Wayne Rooney used to leave a vacuum cleaner on to help him get to sleep. He said so in one of his autobiographies, My Story So Far.
We mention this at the end of our piece because it’s not something we’re seriously recommending, but it does illustrate the lengths some people will go to in order to generate some white noise to aid their slumber.
If you have any alternative suggestions pop over to this post on our Facebook page and join the conversation!