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Sweet dreams: 5 tips for better sleep

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

From reducing caffeine to choosing the perfect bedding, follow this advice for regular, sound sleep.

Taking on a long day with little sleep can leave you feeling irritable, anxious and scatty. But, more importantly, it’s bad for your health. According to the NHS, not getting enough consistent sleep can seriously affect your mental wellbeing, causing anxiety and depression, and even weaken your immune system over time, making you more prone to heart disease and high blood pressure.

With the stresses of everyday life, switching off at the end of the day is hard for most people. But for dads, the extra worry that comes with having kids — making sure they’re going to be ready for school, the added financial strain, or even just wondering if your little one is sleeping properly — can make getting a proper night’s sleep feel like even more of a challenge.

Here are five tips to help you achieve that well-deserved rest.

Don’t skip breakfast 

Skipping breakfast or eating breakfast too late (an hour after you get up) suppresses the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and causes the body to produce stress hormones. People who don’t eat breakfast never feel like eating – it’s a vicious cycle worth breaking.

Consider quality bedding

You spend an average of one third of your life in bed, so it makes sense to ensure you have the right bedding to keep you comfortable throughout the night. One excellent choice of bed sets is the 100% Pure French Linen from sleep retail experts Soak&Sleep.

Their French Linen sets start from £161.50 for a single bed size up to £288 for a super king bed size. Each pre-washed and pre-shrunk set includes a duvet cover and bed sheet (in the relevant size) and a pair of Oxford pillowcases. The flax is specially grown in Normandy and then carefully woven to create a soft and supple feeling that makes you feel supremely cosy wrapped up in it. Plus, the material is designed to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, which is ideal for the upcoming colder nights.

Each set is available in seven different colours, from white to bluish pink, midnight grey to powder blue – so whatever your bedroom’s colour scheme is, there’ll be one to suit it. But if luxurious French linen isn’t your thing, Soak&Sleep also has full range of high-quality Egyptian and silk bet sets to help you on your way to achieving the perfect night’s sleep.

Reduce technology before bed 

Electronic devices like phones, tablets and TV overload the ‘working memory’ of the brain and leads to noisy thought-filled sleep. Aim for an electronic sundown of 60-90mins before getting into bed.

Avoid caffeine late in the day

Caffeine has been proven to disrupt sleep, even up to six hours after you’ve taken it. The powerful stimulant stays in your system for hours on end, and even trace amounts of it can make it difficult, or for those with a sensitivity to it, impossible to switch off.

Don’t clock-watch

Worrying about not being able to sleep will not help your situation. There’s nothing worse than lying awake at night and looking at the clock, counting down the hours of sleep you hope you’ll eventually get. Remember, any sleep you get is going to be beneficial.