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Can't sleep?

I just can’t sleep properly! I’m tired and fractious and long for my bed, but I keep waking up and find it hard to fall back asleep.

Caffeine and refined sugar are not good bed partners – replace them with soothing herbal teas, water, and dried fruit/fruit bars.

Get some exercise every day, albeit just 15-20 minutes gentle walking. It’s important to have exercised both your mind and body in order to sleep well, so if your mind is weary from a stressful day at your computer, but your body is flaccid from lack of stimulus, then dropping off can be a problem.

It works the other way too – if your job is physical or you rush around after your family all day, but don’t have anything interesting to chew on mentally, your mind may race at night despite your tired body. In this situation it will help if you read for half an hour or so before bed, giving your body a chance to relax whilst your mind gets a workout outwith the daily grind.

Don’t watch television or films just before bed. Tune out at least half an hour before bed and have a bath or read a good book or chat to your family. Let your body know that you’re en route to slumber.

Whatever you do, don’t have the television, computer, piles of work or (especially!) the ironing board in your bedroom! Your bedroom needs to be about rest, not toil, nor electronic gadgetry.