Read our good night sleep tips to help you drift off and stay soundly asleep, to give yourself the rest that you need.

Adequate sleep is critical for overall health and well-being. Studies have shown that a good nights sleep is linked to improved productivity and concentration. While poor sleep has been shown to reduce immune function, cause weight gain and lead to a greater risk of several diseases including heart disease and stroke. Like many things in life, a good nights sleep starts with advanced preparation. Here are a few tips to help you sleep deeply every night and renew and refresh your mind and body.

1. Exercise

Regular exercise of at least 20 to 30 minutes per day has been shown to help people sleep. Although avoiding exercise a few hours before bedtime is recommended. For maximum benefit try to plan your exercise to occur about 5 or 6 hours before bedtime.

2. Avoid Stimulants

Stimulants delay and disrupt a good nights sleep. Many sleep specialists recommend avoiding or reducing caffeine, nicotine, sugary foods and alcohol, especially 5 or 6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine consumed late in the day can keep people awake when they want to sleep, while other stimulants can cause people to sleep lightly and not enter the deeper REM stages of sleep. For best results, avoid caffeine after lunch and other stimulants all together.

3. Bed Time Ritual

A bed time ritual can be beneficial for people who have trouble letting go of the day and want to train themselves to associate certain activities with sleep. Each person may find different activities more beneficial than others. However ideas for a bedtime ritual may include a warm bath, reading a book or drinking a camomile tea. Choose activities that feel relaxing for you.

4. Room Environment

A dark and quiet room is very important for a good nights sleep. Studies have shown that even the small glow of light from a clock or LED screen, such as a phone, can reduce sleep quality. Try to minimise, where possible, loud noises and bright lights which are not supportive for regular deep and rejuvenating sleep.

5. Keep A Schedule

People who keep a regular sleep schedule and stick to it are more likely to enjoy quality sleep more often. For example, going to bed early and waking up early is a good way to wake up feeling rejuvenated while getting a head-start on the day. The most important point is to chose a routine that works for you and stick to it.

6. Meditate

Studies have shown that regular meditation can treat insomnia. Specifically, meditation helps to increase sleep time, improve sleep quality, and make it easier to fall (and stay) asleep. There are many different types of meditation and there are many health and well-being benefits for the practitioner on top of a good nights sleep. Why not try a simple breath awareness meditation, a loving kindness meditation or a walking meditation to get started.

Sleep and preparing for sleep should be a relaxing and rejuvenating part of the day. Enjoy the experience and set aside enough time to give yourself the rest that you need.