Cooler evenings, darker nights and cosy night-clothes are some of the reasons why autumn should be one of the best seasons to get a good night’s sleep, However, according to research, one in five of us still aren’t getting the rest we need.

Improve your sleep this autumn

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. But how can we ensure that we get enough? Here are some simple tips which may help:

1. Try, as much as possible, to have a regular bedtime as this helps to set your internal body clock.

2. Create a restful sleeping environment. Your bedroom should be neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible.

3. Create a good sleep environment by removing TV’s and technical devices from your bedroom.

4. Make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep if it’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old.

5. Try to relax before going to bed with a warm bath. Adding a few drops of lavender oil to the water may help you sleep better. Spraying your pillow or bedding with a slumber mist can also help you to relax and unwind at bedtime.

Spray a few drops on your pillow at bedtime

6. Take more exercise. Regular, moderate exercise such as swimming or walking can help relieve the day’s stresses and strains. But not too close to bedtime as it may keep you awake.

7. Avoid caffeine in tea, coffee or cola in the evening. It interferes with falling asleep and prevents deep sleep. Have a hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.

A hot milky drink or herbal tea can help you to relax

8. Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can play havoc with sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night.

9. Try wearing bed socks. According to Swiss researchers, you are more likely to fall asleep quickly if your feet and hands are warm.

Keeping your feet warm can help you fall asleep

10. If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again - then go back to bed.