Getting a Good Night Sleep

For everyone, getting a good night sleep is important but it isn't as easy as you think. If you have epilepsy, getting the best night sleep is especially important.
We've got some tips to help you get the best night sleep possible.

Sticking to a bedtime routine helps set your body’s internal body clock and help to increase your quality of sleep.

Small changes to your sleeping environment can make a big difference to your quality of sleep.

Make sure your room is as quiet, your bed is comfortable and that your room isn’t too hot or cold. This can send a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to relax and go to sleep. 

If you get stressed out by mess, try to keep your bedroom tidy so that it doesn’t stress you out as you are trying to sleep.

Melatonin is the hormone that helps you relax and fall asleep.

Devices such as phones, laptops and tablets produce blue light which tricks our brains into thinking it’s still daytime. This makes our bodies produce the same amount of melatonin as they do during the day, making it harder to get to sleep.

If you want to, you can also download sleep support apps, reduced eye-strain mode,  or put your phone into dark mode for use in the evening.

It may sound obvious but try to avoid drinks with caffeine in them before bed, this includes coffee, tea and fizzy drinks like Coca-Cola.

Caffeine is a chemical that stimulates your nervous system and can stop your body from relaxing naturally.

Sugar before bed will keep you awake too, so try to tailor your mealtimes to fit in with your relaxation and sleep goals

Exercise can help you get a good night sleep because it increases sleep quality. However, try not to exercise right before bed because that can also wake your body up and make it more difficult to fall asleep when you want to.

It could be the case that your medication is having an impact on your ability to sleep. Speak to your epilepsy doctor about your sleep concerns and see if there are any medication alternatives. 

If you are suffering from a sleep disorder, it's important to share this with your doctor as diagnosis and treatment could help both your sleep, and your epilepsy. 

Trying 1 or 2 of these recommendations out may not help initially, but stick with it and track how your sleep improves. You will be able to find what works for you and how it can really make a difference. If you have any wearables, such as a fitbit or apple watch, these will also log your sleep. 

Sleep and mental health go hand in hand. If you can incorporate habits that will improve your mental health, this is likely to also help you sleep. Make this a priority, and the better you sleep, the easier it will be to stick to your new habits. Often the hardest thing is starting, but you've got this!

Does anyone else have trouble with sleep?
This animation has been supported by an educational grant from Zogenix