Most of us know all to well the damaging effects a lousy night sleep can have on our bodies and minds.

A good night's sleep keeps us refreshed, less stressed and happier, and it's a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.

Doctor Libby Weaver is an Australian author, speaker and nutritional biochemist who shared her tips for a better night sleep with Body and Soul, the Daily Mail reports.

Dr Weaver's first recommendation was to avoid coffee after midday to make sure the stimulant is out of your system before bedtime.


"Try not having caffeine after midday consistently and see if your sleep improves, and be sure to not squash in extras before midday as there is a cumulative effect on other body systems," Dr Weaver told the publication.

Caffeine is a morning ritual for many of us and often just one cup of coffee won't do.

But Dr Weaver said as the caffeine may take eight hours to leave our system, it's best not to have any later in the day.

Scientists and health professionals also say the over-50s should steer clear of tea or coffee after midday because they take longer to absorb stimulants in the beverages.

Younger people, by contrast, are better able to deal with caffeine in the afternoon. The advice comes from the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), which warns that not getting enough sleep can lead to cancer, dementia and depression.

Avoiding electronics is unfortunately a rarity in today's world, and many people regularly check their phone and devices before bed.

Dr Weaver suggests switching to aeroplane mode or an equivalent before bed if you must sleep with your phone on.

"Create a new habit of not using backlit devices for 90 minutes prior to sleep if sleep quality is a problem for you," she told Body and Soul.


If sleep is evading you, try a warm relaxing bath before bedtime; it doesn't have to be only our kids who enjoy a nice bath before bed.

"Beyond the stress reducing effect, a warm bath also slightly changes your body temperature which can also promote better sleep," Dr Weaver said.

She recommends taking a bath one to two hours before you sleep so make sure your body is ready to rest.

Meditation has long been heralded as a great way to unwind at the end of the day, relieving stress and anxiety.

"Research suggests mindfulness meditation practice is particularly effective for improving sleep in people with sleep disorders such as insomnia," Dr Weaver said.

It goes without saying that meditating in a clean and relaxed space is doubly good for the body and mind, so make sure your bedroom (and home) are tidy and clean.

Wash your sheets regularly and dry them in the sun to kill bacteria, and consider the age of your mattress - if it's over 10 years old, it may be time for a new one.

When we sleep, each person loses half a pint of moisture a night so sleep experts suggest opting for a mattress placed on a slatted base.

This allows greater circulation of air to reach the mattress, which in turn, can help to reduce sweating during the night, aiding uninterrupted sleep.

Alternatively, another option is to sleep naked.

If you and your partner both sleep in the nude, you can reap the benefits of the anti-stress hormone oxytocin.

Also known as the 'cuddle hormone', it has a calming effect that counters the effects of cortisol and helps promote sleep.