Sleep. We all need it, we all do it, and most of us don’t get enough of it. I suffer from insomnia on and off, and when I hit twitter at 2am I am rarely the only person on there still up, unable to sleep. Other than counting sheep or gazing at the ceiling, what can we do to foster an environment and a mindset that is more conducive to restful sleep. Here are my top 10.
1. Make sure your room is dark. If you life in an urban area with lots of light pollution, it’s worth investing in a blackout blind.
2. Ditch the tech. Never one to take my own advice, I am often up playing with my smartphone till the wee small hours. Not only is that sort of stimulation not going to help you wind down ready for sleep, the light will play havoc with your circadian rhythms. If you have TV’s or clocks with LED displays, no matter how small, try and cover them. It’s amazing the how illuminating one tiny little light can be.
3. Have a decent bed, with the right mattress for you. Just like Goldilocks, I’ve tried soft, I’ve tried hard, and I’ve finally landed on just right. I personally have a Dormeo memory foam mattress which is perfect for me. It’s banished a good deal of the pain and discomfort I was suffering with my last mattress.
4. Organise your bedroom. It’s difficult to sleep when your bedroom is busy and cluttered. Try to create an environment that is tranquil and conducive to rest and relaxation.
5. Set the mood. Yes, pretty much everything you do in bed requires setting the mood and that is especially true for sleep. Have a hot bath, light a scented candle, and pop a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow. The smell if very soporific. Amphora Aromatics is my go to for essential oils and scented candles. The quality is excellent, the candles burn evenly and smell amazing. As good as Yankee at half the price.
6. Watch what you drink. To much caffeine later in the day has the potential to play havoc with your sleep. I myself stick to decaff after 5pm. Alcohol can also negatively effect your sleep to. I little tipple may help you drop off, but will effect your quality of sleep and you will often wake later in the night.
7. Keep a journal or a diary. A leading cause of sleeplessness, especially in women is worry. When the lights are out and everything is quiet, there is the potential for ‘washing machine head’ where negative thoughts chase each other around your brain. If this sounds like you, I highly recommend spending 10 minutes writing in a journal. Write down your worries, so they are literally out of your head and on paper or write about the good things that happened in your day. A gratitude list is an ideal way to keep yourself buoyed up and balance out negative self talk.
8. Don’t get to hot and bothered. Make sure the temperature in your room is just right by checking the central heating and the tog on your duvet. Ideally, your bedroom should be slightly chilly for optimum sleep. Perfect for snuggling under the warm blankets.
9. Go to bed and wake up at a regular time. Even on weekends. This way your body gets trained to know when it should sleep, and when it’s time to wake.
10. Don’t worry so much! Believe me, I know it’s easier said than done, but finding a way to be more zen plays a big part in your entire wellbeing. When you are balanced, comfortable and not in pain (do take measures if pain is an issue for you) everything comes easier. Also, worrying about not getting enough sleep is a vicious circle. Try and break the chain.
There you have it, my top ten tips for better sleep. When I take my own advice I do sleep so much better, so this post has served as a kick up the backside for me to.
Do you get enough sleep? How much is enough for you?