Sleep Hygiene to Beat Fatigue

By Dr Emma Rees

At some stage in our lives, we will often face sleeplessness or fatigue. Whether it is a result of bad sleep habits creeping in, or some big life events, our body and mind often quickly feel the effects of poor sleep, which impacts our work and social lives equally as fast.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to try and help:

  • Aim for a regular routine, try to get to bed at the same time each night to regulate release of your hormones-hormones like routine!
  • Avoid screen time, including use of your phone for at least an hour before you plan to go to bed-blue light can reduce the amount of melatonin you produce.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal within a couple of hours of going to bed or go to bed really hungry.
  • Check your sleep environment.  Make sure it is not too hot or too cold and your bed is comfortable.
  • Ensure it is dark enough.  If it is too light it is harder to sleep as you release less melatonin.
  • If you can’t sleep and it’s been longer than 20 minutes, get up and go into a different room until you feel more sleepy-avoid associating your bedroom with wakefulness.
  • Avoid things that can stimulate you within a couple of hours of bedtime, examples include alcohol, cigarettes, heavy exercise.
  • Start a bedtime wind down routine, over time this schools your body into expecting sleep.
  • Get out and about, regular daily exercise and sunshine both promote the daily cycle of hormone release.
  • Don’t panic, routines take time to become the norm, you generally won’t see huge changes straight way but small changes build up over time!

If you have tried to implement this sleep hygiene and still had no luck, you may need to discuss your sleep and fatigue symptoms with your doctor. Subscribe to Femma to start your Sleep and Fatigue consult with a GP today!