If you have a busy lifestyle like me, then you may find it strange to switch off at night and get a quality 8-hour sleep. But all is not lost; there are a number of things you can do to try and improve the speed in which you fall asleep and the quality of sleep you get. Here are my top five:

Watch What You Eat
You’ve probably heard the old wives’ tales about how some foods can give you nightmares or how a nightcap can help you nod off, but there have actually been scientific studies into this.

Foods and drinks to avoid include cheese, coffee, cereal (or other high sugar alternatives), bacon cheeseburgers (or other high fat alternatives), and alcohol. Whereas you should stock up on foods such as salmon, bananas, cherries, walnuts and jasmine rice to induce slumber.

Get Plenty of Exercise
It’s no secret that keeping fit is good for your health (and your waistline), but it also has a huge influence on your sleep.
Exercise will make you feel more awake and alert during the day and will help tire you out ready for bed. In fact, doctors believe it can help reduce the symptoms of insomnia and improve sleep apnea too.

Stick to a Routine
Although it may be tempting to have a lie in or take a nap if you’re feeling tired, I would always recommend sticking to a sleep routine as best as possible in order not to disrupt your circadian rhythm.
It may seem childish having a bedtime, but you may be surprised by how much of a difference it can make. A sleeping pattern can help regulate your natural body clock and help you get a better-quality sleep, as well as prevent periods of feeling exhausted.

Get Some Fresh Air and Sunshine
When you step out of your front door in the morning, the bright sunshine and cold wind can be bracing – It’ll certainly wake you out of any morning haze.
Well, although this may be a shock to the system pre 9am, it can actually help to regulate your internal clock in line with daylight hours. Scientists have also revealed sunshine can help regulate your body temperature and hormone cycles too – bonus!

Ensure You Have Comfortable Surroundings
Let’s be honest, you can try all of the above tips but if you don’t have serene surroundings and have a lumpy mattress or a shabby bed frame, you’re unlikely to relax. So, give your master bedroom a makeover with new soft furnishings, a good lick of paint and an investment in a quality bed and mattress.
Not sure where to look for mattresses? Well, you’re in luck, I know just the place.

Written by Joy Richards. Joy is a Sleep Specialist at Happy Beds – one of the UK’s fastest growing bed manufacturers and online retailers. When she’s not in work sharing her sleep science and décor inspiration, Joy enjoys cooking up a feast in the kitchen for her sons.