Top tips for a decent nights sleep
I don’t know about you, but over the past few years, sleep for me has been a bit of a sore point. Sometimes I’ll sleep for a whole 12 hours, other times I get 3 maximum. There’s never really an in between, it’s usually one or the other.
How very inconvenient…
Well, yeah it really is. When you have to get up for work, school, uni, or even to walk the dog. It can seem like an arduous task. Many a day I wake up and think; “Actually, I could go back to sleep now. Phone into work, it won’t do any harm”. Don’t think like this. When you are feeling down, the worst thing you can do is stay in bed, despite what you think.
Getting out of bed and facing the day is the most important thing. 1 because the sunlight will improve your mood and 2 because speaking to people and just getting out will benefit you greatly.
Anyway, back to sleep.
I’m going to share with you some of the things that have helped me sleep when insomnia sets in. If you have any you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you. So, here goes.
#1 Lavender essential oil
So actually lavender doesn’t send you to sleep. If it did, I reckon there’d be a few little creatures sprawled out across our fields and gardens. What Lavender actually does is puts you in a relaxed state. It lessens anxiety and stress and it is this effect that helps you fall asleep.
You can buy Lavender oil everywhere. I get it from a well known supermarket chain. But health food shops, chemists they’ll all have it. Don’t be swayed into buying expensive bottles. It’s all the flipping same.
The other option, is to get some out of the garden and wrap it up. It will do exactly the same job.
Now, people say;
Don’t eat after 8pm….
Or whatever time they say because you’ll gain weight. This is not strictly true. But we’re talking about sleep. I will never go to bed hungry, it always keeps me awake. I usually end up with horrific stomach cramps too. Not good. Equally, going to bed on a full stomach can be just as bad because you need to give your body time to digest everything.
It’s best to have a light snack before you go to bed, so that you are satisfied and not full. I find a rice cake with some butter on it, or a banana does the trick. And I usually end up with a pretty OK sleep if I’m feeling OK in myself.
#3 Get some exercise
Exercise not only releases happy hormones into your brain, it will also tire you out and prepare you for a good nights sleep.
The other great thing is the hot shower or bath you have afterwards. This will help relax your muscles too. Go for a walk, or a run or buy a workout DVD. There are plenty on Youtube that you can access for free too.
I personally enjoy my running, but I quite like attending the gym! I have a structured workout that I follow week by week. But all you need are some comfy clothes, and a pair or decent trainers to get you off on the right foot (or the left).
#4 Switch off: EVERYTHING
About an hour before bed, switch off all tech. Phones let out something called blue light which keeps your brain awake and buzzing on, and on, and on. So, it’s best you keep them out of the way. In a separate room if you can.
Give yourself time to relax, switch off and unwind before you drift off. Try reading a book instead of checking your news feed. I’m as guilty as the next person for checking my phone. It takes up a lot of my life to be fair.
I swear by meditation. It is the perfect way to calm the mind after a stressful day. Alongside this you could write everything that has been bothering you in a little note book, clear your head a bit more.
It’s important to remember that meditation isn’t about thinking nothing, its about taking charge of your thoughts. Focus on your breathing, count your breaths, and when you feel a thought pushing its way in, accept it and take your attention back to your breathing. If you’re like me, eventually you’ll fall asleep.
Don’t be disheartened if you can’t do it straight away. These things take time and practice.
So what do you think? Do you have any other solutions to sleep problems? I’d love to hear from you if you have! These work for me, but not all the time. I have to think about how I’m feeling at the time, and choose accordingly.