How to Wake Up in a Good Place: Katie Piper's Top 10 Tips for Sleeping Well

Posted by Katie Piper on 15th Oct 2021

How to Wake Up in a Good Place: Katie Piper's Top 10 Tips for Sleeping Well

Katie Piper is a household name and a familiar face to most of us. She’s an inspirational speaker, TV presenter, best-selling international author, and founder of a successful charity. Not to mention a great role model to many.

It’s fair to say she knows a thing or two about getting a good night’s sleep!

The secret to waking up in a good place, feeling refreshed and positive about the day ahead is to get some good quality sleep. However, that’s easier said than done and many people struggle to sleep well for the whole night, without waking up a couple of times.

In this article, Katie shares her top 10 tips for sleeping well.

1. Ditch the technology before bed

Katie says: “Don’t be tempted to scroll on your phone or device when you get in to bed. As well as keeping your mind active, the blue light actually blocks a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy. Instead, read a book – even if it’s just a chapter a night. It solves the ‘no technology problem’ and reading before bed is a known stress-reducer.”

Keep your bedroom a technology-free zone if you can and leave your emails, to-do lists and errands for tomorrow.

2. Listen to relaxing noise to help you fall asleep

Katie says: “If you struggle to go to sleep in silence, try listening to some relaxing white noise like rain falling or ocean sounds. There are so many options that can really help and transform bed-time. The CALM app is great for this.”

These natural sounds can help to relax you because they are at a pitch which is pleasant for your ears and your mind. Your brain does not find them threatening, and this in turn lowers your stress levels. In turn, you’ll become more relaxed, ready to fall to sleep. [1]

If these sorts of noises aren’t your thing, then a relaxing audiobook or podcast could work instead. Keep the volume down low and make sure the narration is slow and soothing.

3. Clean and comfortable bedding

Katie says: “It’s all about the sheets! For me, some lovely, fresh, clean bedding really helps me sleep. Beautiful bedding is hugely important in creating a happy, safe, serene space in the bedroom.”

Katie’s not alone either - a 2012 study by the National Sleep Foundation in the USA found that 73% of people sleep better when their sheets are fresh. [2]

And it’s not just about how clean your bedding is – the design can really help too. Beautiful bedding is hugely important and plays a role in creating a happy, safe, serene space in your bedroom. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary and your choice of bedding will really help to achieve this.

Choose the best quality bedding that you can to make sure that you’re the most comfortable that you can be.

4. Choose your TV wisely

Katie says: “If I am going to watch TV before bed, I always make sure it’s something chilled and nothing too stimulating or intense. I opt for a familiar boxset, or something light and cheery rather than a serious documentary or heavy news content.”

So horror films and true crime documentaries are out, light comedies, gardening shows and nature programmes are in!

Just like with our phones, our TVs emit that blue light which our bodies perceive as daylight. This can wake your brain up, rather than helping it to relax. [3] Some studies have found that watching TV before bed leads to poor sleep quality and feeling tired the next day. [4]

Try to turn the TV off around half an hour before going to sleep, to help your brain switch off.

5. Take regular exercise

Katie says: “I exercise daily for my mental health as well as my physical health. Whatever works for you … simply moving can have so many benefits. I personally love to run, walk and do weights. I always sleep better if I have exercised in the day.”

Regular moderate to vigorous exercise can help to reduce the time it takes for us to fall asleep and decrease the amount of time we lie awake in bed during the night. This helps to improve the quality of our sleep, leaving us feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another day when we wake up. [5]

Exercise in the morning or early afternoon works best. Exercising to near to bedtime means that your body’s core temperature doesn’t have time to return to normal and this can keep you awake and affect the quality of your sleep. [6]

6. Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Katie says:“A healthy, balanced diet is so important for helping your body work at its best, and when we sleep, our bodies work to repair and renew. I try to avoid eating heavy meals too late in the evenings.”

Just like regular exercise, eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for so many things when it comes to our health and wellbeing. Both what we eat and when we eat can have a big impact on our sleep patterns.

Research suggests that eating too late in the day doesn’t allow enough time for your metabolic and digestive processes to slow down and this means that your body isn’t relaxed enough for sleep. [7]

Keeping hydrated during the day can help too. Drinking plenty of water and topping up your levels with fruit, vegetables and soups can all help you get a good night’s sleep. Just don’t drink too much during the evening else you’ll need to get up to the loo in the night!

7. Finding the right bed and mattress for you

Katie says: Find the right one for you. A good night’s sleep might be really tough if your sleeping ‘equipment’ isn’t up to scratch. Do your research and find out whether you need something soft or firm - pocket sprung or memory foam - everyone is different. I really believe it’s worth the investment – sleeping well is so important and impacts on many other aspects of your life / wellbeing.”

A very important point! A good night’s sleep can be tough to come by if your sleeping equipment isn’t up to scratch. Do your research and find out whether you need a soft or a firm mattress, or whether to go for pocket sprung or memory foam.

We spend around a third of our lifetime asleep [8] so we should make sure that it’s the best it can be!

8. Practice mindfulness

Katie says: “I have found meditation so helpful for clearing my mind at the end of a busy day. Even if it’s just for 10/15 minutes - taking the time to be still and peaceful makes a huge difference to my state of mind before sleep.”

Meditation can take a little bit of practice but the basic principles are quite simple. For a bedtime meditation, try lying down in your bed in a position that feels comfortable for you. Close your eyes gently start to breathe slowly.

Concentrate on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling deeply. Maybe count how long each breath is. When thoughts come into your head, bring your attention back to your breathing. [9]

If you struggle at first, there are some wonderful apps available which will take you through a guided meditation including Calm and Mindspace.

9. Have a bubble bath

Katie says: “An oldie but a goodie! There really is nothing better than relaxing in a hot bath, especially on a cold winter’s night. It will help soothe your muscles and prepare your whole body for a restful night’s sleep. Add some essential oils for added bliss!”

Taking a bath not only helps to relieve stress but it can also help ease muscle soreness and tension, so these won’t bother you when it comes to bedtime. [10]

Try lavender essential oil which helps to promote sleep. A 2005 study found that lavender can help to increase the amount of deep sleep that you get during the night, leaving you feeling tip top in the morning. [11]

10. Positive affirmations

Katie says: “I have several of these on post-it notes around my bedroom. Just little daily reminders that I catch glimpse of when I’m getting ready for bed. I also have my book ‘A Little Bit of Faith’ on the bedside table that I have a flick through when I need an extra boost of positivity before bed or when I wake up.”

Affirmations are statements which can help you to challenge negative thoughts that you might have about yourself. When you repeat them again and again, you start to really believe in them and then you can make positive changes in the way you view yourself. [12]

Some examples of positive affirmations are:

  • I am confident
  • I am happy with my body and everything it does for me
  • I am strong
  • I am beautiful

You can adapt these to make them personal to you but be sure to start each one with “I am”.

Try saying some out loud to yourself or writing them down before you go to bed to fall asleep with a positive mindset. You can do the same when you wake up too to start your day off in the right way.