So why is it so hard to get a great night’s sleep?
- Long working hours
- Spending long hours online
- Not enough exercise
To name a few.
If you look at the list the majority are linked to one another, modern life means we get less time to relax the body and mind. Both essential parts of a good pre-sleep routine.
Here’s 5 tips I found worked when I struggled to get sound sleep.
A big factor for not sleeping is because we overthink, there’s statistics to show that women in particular are guilty of making lists in their head and planning out their day whilst in bed – guilty your honour!
What I learnt is making a to-do list is helpful to empty the mind. Any important phone calls or bills you need to pay make them a priority, then make a list of the day’s duties or ideas you have. You’ll start the next day with confidence.
Another great exercise to practice is writing a gratitude list, write down 1 0r 10 things you are grateful from family, a warm home, a great job, anything. It leaves you feeling contempt and happy. A perfect duo before catching zzz.
If you find nodding off is difficult and every little noise has you pricking your ears, try earplugs. Headphones are incredibly uncomfortable and dangerous to wear while sleeping so I prefer foam plugs. I have been sleeping more soundly since using these and a result of sleeping the majority of the night, I wake up feeling refreshed. Sadly I don’t exude the same glamour as Audrey Hepburn when wearing them.
Now I have found this to be a game changer in falling asleep faster. You don’t have to be a yoga guru to do this, it simply requires listening to, and understanding your own body.
Lie flat on your back in bed if possible, pay close attention to all of your body from the head to the toes. Starting at the head, close your eyes and loosen all facial muscles, you’ll feel your jaw relax and the tongue rest on the roof of the mouth. From there work downwards feeling your body slowing sink into the mattress until there is no tension. With the ear plugs in you will be able to hear your breathing more deeply, this is key, this allows you to connect with your body and slow down your breathing rhythm. Breath deeply allowing the tummy to rise and fill the chest with oxygen, as you breathe out your shoulders will drop releasing a lot of the tension in the trapezius muscle.
If you find it difficult finding motivation and prefer a calming voice try some apps, a good one is Headspace and it’s free.
Temperature plays a huge role in quality sleep, when the body is too hot it can’t relax. Keep a window ajar and turn off radiators in bedrooms to keep a cool climate.
Avoid Stimulants or Activities
Limit caffine drinks to the afternoon, your body doesn’t remove it immediately so it remains for hours afterwards, the caffeine you had at 8 pm will still be there as you try to sleep. Redbull and other energy drinks are the worst offenders causing hangover like symptoms and anxiety, making sleep difficult.
Exercise is fantastic for the mind, body and soul, it releases hormones and encourages healthy eating and overall good wellbeing. It also acts like a stimulant, so like the caffeine it’s best to do this hours before you relax for bed.
I hope these tips help, they’ve allowed me to fall asleep quicker and say asleep for longer. Here’s to a good nights rest!