8 ways to wake up feeling refreshed
Which new sleep habit will you try?
We know staying up late watching TV, using apps and social media isn’t good for us. Stress, fatigue and worries about the world, our work, our home lives, money, can all make it harder to switch off and get a good rest. For those doing shift work, getting to sleep during the day or at irregular times makes it ever harder.
The good news is, research shows good sleep makes us feel better physically and mentally. Good quality sleep improves our concentration, mood, ability to do tasks and even our memory. After a decent rest, you’re more likely to have a good day.
Sleep and mental health
It’s easy to fall into an unhelpful cycle of stress, poor sleep and tiredness.
Sleep cycle graphic by Mind. Find more on Sleep and mental health – from Mind
After a rough night, we can be slower to wake, grumpy, exhausted and less ready to face the day. There’s a known link between sleep and mental health too. Poor sleep over a long period can contribute to episodes of mental health issues we may be susceptible to. And some mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and PTSD can cause sleep disturbances.
Positive change is possible
We’ve probably heard most of the standard sleep tips before, but may find it hard to sustain, so we fall back into old habits. Deciding to have a fresh start, making a small change and sticking with it to form a good habit, can really help.
Pick one tip to try and see if you can get better sleep and wake refreshed.
8 tips for better sleep
Try to avoid
1) Watching TV or using your phone in bed, especially in the hour before bedtime. The blue light and constant flow of information keep you awake.
“A good sleep habit is to improve your sleep associations. Don’t spend time in your bed throughout the day or watch TV in bed. This lets your mind know your bed is a place for sleep and only sleep and can help a lot.”
Alice, Wellbeing Matters Assistant Psychologist
2) Staying in artificial light all day. Try to get some natural light if you can, with a walk outside, or opening blinds and curtains.
3) Caffeine, alcohol or large meals close to bedtime as these can disrupt your sleep.
4) Staying in bed if you can’t sleep. Get up and do something calming for 20 minutes. Perhaps a low-level task like folding laundry in another room. Then when you feel tired enough, try to get to sleep again.
Meet your new sleep habits
5) Calm sleep space. It’ll be easier to sleep if your bedroom is dark, cool (around 18 degrees C), with comfy bedding. Put away work items and tidy (or just move!) clutter, to keep your bedroom as a relaxing space just for sleep.
6) Sleep routine. If your work pattern allows, try to go to sleep and wake around the same time every day. Whatever time you need to get to sleep, a regular routine has a calming effect and helps your brain recognise it’s time to wind down.
Have a bath, read, listen to calming music, e-books or podcasts, like:
- The soothing Sleep Well podcast with Michael Mosely
7) Warm bedtime drink. Sounds old fashioned, but it works for some. A small mug of rice milk, oat milk or cow’s milk, hot or cold, can make you feel sleepy.
8) Mindfulness exercise. Do a breathing or mindfulness exercise, with apps like Sleepful or Headspace. You can find links to these in Free Wellbeing Apps.
Sleepful app uses cognitive behavioural therapy to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Download it from Apple Store | Download it from Google Play
Find more sleep tips in this short video by sleep scientist Dr Matt Walker
8 tips to wake up feeling refreshed - infographic to download
Need a bit more help?
Changing habits can be difficult to do alone. If you need a bit more help, try:
Space for Sleep course
SilverCloud’s online therapy programmes can help with common mental wellbeing issues like sleep, anxiety, depression, money worries and more.
Just find SilverCloud for Staff on the Wellbeing Matters website. Do a quick quiz and sign up for the course most suited to you.
The Space from Sleep course gives you tips, videos and techniques to help you understand your issues with sleep and learn ways to get better quality rest.
You can choose to do it Supported (by a mental health practitioner), or as Self-help.
- If you choose to complete this as Self-help, please note that any clinical information supplied will not be monitored
- SilverCloud is not a crisis intervention. For urgent mental health support, see: Wellbeing crisis page
Get support from Wellbeing Matters
If problems with sleep or other worries are playing on your mind or affecting your quality of life, we can help.
- Call our Wellbeing Line : 0300 365 8880 (9am–4pm, Mon–Fri, except bank holidays)
- Email: WellbeingLine@berkshire.nhs.uk to ask for a call back
We specialise in offering psychological support to health and social care staff across Berkshire. We’ll talk things through with you in confidence and connect you with the right support for you.