Quick GuidesMar 3

5 Best Books for Better Sleep

If you're anything like the average person living in the UK, the likelihood is that you're not getting enough sleep. You think you've tried it all; no caffeine in the afternoon, breathing techniques, more regular bedtimes, maybe even counting sheep - and yet a good night's sleep is still something you merely (day)dream about. So, what better time than World Book Day to take the matter into your own hands (literally!)? Go ahead and pick up one of these top-rated books on sleep...

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

📷 @hungrygirlsbookclub

Science has shown that sleep is the most important factor to our physical and mental well-being, yet we’re living in an era of a sleep deprivation epidemic. Why so? “Humans are not sleeping the way nature intended. The number of sleep bouts, the duration of sleep, and when sleep occurs have all been comprehensively distorted by modernity.” Written by neuroscientist Matthew Walker, “Why We Sleep” answers every frequently asked question about sleep ever in the most compelling and stimulating way. We guarantee you’ll read this book cover to cover as if it was the latest best-selling crime novel! You’ll learn about the science behind our circadian rhythm and how food, light, and computer screens affect it, and about the consequences poor sleep hygiene. Walker even explains why and how we dream! By the time you hit the last few pages, you’ll feel inspired to utilise the newly gained knowledge to reclaim your right to sleep well. It’s a must-read!

Teach Yourself to Sleep: An Ex-Insomniac’s Guide by Kate Mikhail

📷 @luisareviews

The stressful and over-stimulated world we live in is making it harder for us to switch off at night. But why are our minds laying awake buzzing with thoughts while we feel exhausted from the day? “Everything about our day feeds into our night, dictating the quality of tomorrow” explains author and ex-insomniac Kate Mikhail, meaning the amount of daylight we’re exposed to, how much time we spend on our devices (and when!) and the foods we’re putting into our bodies can all impact our sleep quality. In this insightful and easy-to-digest read, Mikhail shares her tried-and-tested techniques that have enabled her to take back control of her sleep after decades of trying traditional methods. With increased screen time and less time outdoors, Teach Yourself to Sleep recognises the importance of light and dark in structuring our day and regulating our circadian rhythm. Blending first-person experience with accessible sleep science, Kate Mikhail offers both anecdotes and evidence to help you not only understand your sleep better, but how you can begin to get the sleep you need in this modern world.

Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps... and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind by Nick Littlehales

📷 @brian_keane_fitness

This concise, easy-to-follow and utterly enjoyable book offers plenty of solutions and strategies for a better night’s sleep. The author, Nick Littlehales, is an elite sports sleep coach to some of the world's leading sports stars, including Christiano Rondaldo and other Premiership footballers as well as cyclists from former Team Sky. Getting enough good quality sleep is essential for ensuring proper recovery for your body and mind, but “forget about sleep as you knew it”, says Littlehales in his book. “The process of recovery is on a 24-hour ticking clock, a constant rhythm that we all need to learn to groove with”. By looking at R&R a little differently, tweaking your daily routine and optimising your sleeping environment as advised by Littlehales (and that includes your choice of sleep-friendly bedside lamps!), you will soon be able to rest more effectively, have more energy and focus to power through your day like a true athlete.

The Sleep Book: How to Sleep Well Every Night by Dr Guy Meadows

📷 @itsjustalix

If only better sleep was as simple as a five-week plan, eh? Well, turns out it is! In this book, Founder of the Sleep School, Dr Guy Meadows helps you say goodnight to sleepless nights with this completely natural five-week insomnia remedy, using a unique blend of mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) “a research-based psychological tool that recognises that it is our struggle or reaction to pain or suffering that often makes them worse.” Dr Guy Meadows encourages insomnia suffers – or anyone struggling with their sleep – to accept your sleep problems (spoiler this is Week 2) rather than battling against them. By the time you get to Week 5, you will have learnt all the tools needed to start sleeping well every night!

The Gentle Sleep Book: For calm babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers by Sarah Ockwell-Smith

📷 @leahboleto

If you’re a young parent, your life is very likely revolving around your baby’s nap- and bedtimes. All for a good reason: the hours that children spend asleep is when most of their brain growth happens, which in turn influences their ability to perform on cognitive tasks later in life. In “The Gentle Sleep Book”, parenting expert specialising in the psychology and science of parenting Sarah Ockwell-Smith, offers gentle, reassuring and effective solutions to addressing the common sleep problems of newborns to five-year-olds, including your baby’s frequent waking and your toddler’s reluctance to go to bed. Ockwell-Smith puts great emphasis on optimising your child’s sleeping environment, including lighting, recommending red-LED based lamps, such as Lumie Bedbug.