We all know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, but how many of us actually get one? Well, according to a sleep survey last year, only 8% of us wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go, while more than a quarter (27.8%) never feel refreshed when the alarm goes off; the rest of us are somewhere in between. So, how can we break free of the twilight zone and what can we do to get a better night’s sleep?

  • Wind down and have a routine: Parenting books are always going on about the importance of a child having a bedtime routine – we might scoff at the thought of grown-ups needing one, but the advice is sound. The time before bed should be about relaxing, not checking work emails, talking to colleagues or going over that presentation. Taking a warm bath, having a hot drink (caffeine free of course) and reading a good book (or a boring one) can all help send you to sleep.
  • Write a ‘to do’ list: This isn’t the same as prepping for work. Your list should be about organising your thoughts with things that you’d like to achieve or sort out the next day. It sounds corny but putting pen to paper and acknowledging what you need to do means your brain can switch off and get some sleep. 
  • Relaxation exercise: We’re not talking about doing a whole yoga routine before bedtime but gentle stretches can help relax your muscles. Whatever you do don’t run around the block because you’ll be so pumped up you won’t rest.
  • Keep your room dark and cool: Think of yourself as a bear hibernating – your cave shouldn’t let any light in and it should be between 18° and 21° so invest in some lined curtains and keep the radiator low.
  • But keep your bits warm: Our rooms need to be cool but our hands and feet need to be warm – cold bits impact on our sleep, so dig out that hot water bottle or those fluffy socks.
  • Keep gadgets at bay: It’s a tough one, especially as the average grown up watches around an hour of TV in bed every night and about 40 minutes looking on the internet. But your bedroom should be about sleep and distractions just make it harder to doze off – be brave and do some unplugging.

Forget about worries and strife

Sleep is a bare necessity but anxiety and worry can stop us from getting some shut eye and the top reason that keeps us awake at night? Money. We all like money but staying on top of it all can be tough, especially if you’re the breadwinner. Which is why it’s important to face your fears and tackle it head on.

If credit card debt is keeping you awake, then see if you’d be better off switching to a 0% on balance transfers card. Or, if you know you need to pay to repair something big in the next few months, but don’t think the pennies under the sofa will quite stretch to it, then investigate getting a zero interest on new purchases card. Just remember you will still need to pay it off each month.

Of course, one thing we can’t organise or foresee is getting ill – which is where Accident, sickness and unemployment cover or health insurance could be the answer. Accident, sickness and unemployment cover could help you to continue to make the payments on your mortgage or rent, other debt and even provide some income in the event of illness, an accident or losing you job through redundancy. Health insurance is there to cover the cost of private medical treatment for illness or injury helping you get back to work quicker.

You can find a policy to suit you, whether it’s to cover something specific like a mortgage or if it’s just a lump sum you need to pay for school fees, or income to cover day to day costs. One thing to remember is that life insurance only pays out in the event of you passing away. It won’t cover you if you became ill and couldn’t work – that’s what critical illness cover is useful for.

So, get yourself some peace of mind and put your worries to bed – find a policy to suit you at comparethemarket.com and then it’s light out – night, night, sleep tight.

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