What brain science says about better sleep (2 min read)

Posted by Brooke Davis - July 23rd 2020

Sleep scientists are still trying to understand why we sleep (get the latest ideas here) but everyone agrees that most people have times where they are happy with their sleep, and times when their sleep bothers them. If you'd like better sleep, here are our top three sleep tips, and yes, they are backed by science.

  1. Get into a routine. Get up at the same time every morning. This resets your brain to look for sleep at the same time each night. Try not to nap during the day, even if you are really tired. Go for a short walk or do some stretches and drink a glass of water instead. Pack up, switch off and start your wind down routine at least half an hour before bedtime.
  2. Switch off. That's right. Putting all your devices away before bedtime is one of the best things you can do for your sleep. If you think you'll still be tempted to look at your phone from bed, try leaving all your devices in the kitchen for the night (put your phone on silent first). If you use your phone as an alarm, put it in sleep mode, and leave it on the other side of your bedroom.
  3. Shift your focus. Worrying about not sleeping makes your body and brain more alert. If you have an active or worried mind at night, try noticing your breath instead. When your mind wanders, practice gently bringing it back to the breath. If you want to know more about practicing mindfulness for sleep, check out the Smiling Mind app.

See this great fact sheet by Headspace for even more ideas on getting better sleep.