To ensure you have sweet dreams, The Sleep Council has compiled this handy alphabet for a good night’s sleep:
A is for alcohol: alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes are all stimulants reducing sleep quality and preventing you feeling rested.
B is for bed!: invest in the best you can afford and replace at least every seven years.
C is for circadian rhythm: this 24-hour internal clock works best when you have a regular sleep pattern.
D is for diet: avoid over-eating before bedtime and choose foods with sleep-promoting chemicals such as chicken and turkey, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, peanuts, beans and milk.
E is for exercise: essential for good health and restful sleep but try not to exercise too vigorously close to bedtime.
F is for forty winks: while a nap doesn’t make up for poor quality sleep at night time, grabbing forty winks, or a short nap of 20-30 minutes, in the afternoon can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.
G is for gadgets: laptops, phones and even the TV are sleep stealers! Switch them off at least an hour before bedtime.
H is for health: sleep is crucial to health and well-being as it’s involved in the repair and restoration of our bodies.
I is for illness: sleep deficiency is linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and obesity.
J is for jet lag: eating three balanced meals containing fresh fruit, vegetables and protein the day before you fly can help your body clock re-set more quickly at your destination.
K is for keeping a perfect sleep environment: temperature, lighting, comfort, banning gadgets and gizmos, relaxation and reducing noise are all vital to creating a restful sleep sanctuary.
L is for lifestyle: making small adjustments to your lifestyle or environment could significantly improve the quality of your sleep.
M is for meditation: along with massage, meditation can promote relaxation and drifting off to a good night’s sleep.
N is for National Bed Federation: buy a bed made by a NBF member and you can be sure that it meets all required safety and trading standards.
O is for oils: aromatherapy oils are also brilliant sleep-inducers, particularly traditional favourites such as lavender.
P is for pillow: A good pillow should hold your head in the correct alignment and help avoid neck pain and even persistent headaches.
Q is for quiet: of course, loud, sudden or repetitive noises can interrupt sleep but others can be soothing, particularly soft, steady sounds. Double-glazing and foam ear plugs can all help to promote sleep-friendly tranquillity.
R is for relaxation: a bubbly bath, warm milky drinks or herbal teas and curling up with a good book can all help you wind down. And the old adage “never go to sleep on an argument” holds true: conflicts can leave us stressed and angry, which can make it near impossible to fall asleep.
S is for snoring: one of the biggest causes of partner sleep disturbance, snoring has no known cure but its effects can be diminished with ear plugs and separate beds!
T is for the Thirty Day Sleep Plan: answer a few questions about your sleep, lifestyle and health and the Sleep Council will create you a unique online 30 day plan at https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/30-day-plan/
U is for unwind: in the golden hour before your head hits the pillow it’s vital to relax, switch off electronic gadgets and get yourself in a sleepy frame of mind.
V is for vacation: if you can’t splurge on a holiday, give yourself a weekend sleep-cation: power off the electronics and have a two-day wind down.
W is for worry: almost half of Britons say worry and stress keep them awake at night. To counteract this, invest in a careful wind-down routine so you can relax and switch off.
X is for Xmas: all that food and drink can lead to a Santa-sized sleep problem so keep up those sensible sleep habits throughout the festive season.
Y is for yoga: gentle stretching, relaxation and breathing can aid a restful night.
Z is for zzzzzzzzz – of course!