Like I’ve mentioned before, sleep is as important to our bodies as breathing. But in our modern-day, busy lives, sleep is so often deprioritised. As well as this, a lot of people have difficulty falling asleep. We can all tolerate a few sleepless nights here and there, but long-term chronic sleep issues are known to be related to various physical and mental health problems.
Everyone is different, but on average we need about 7-9 hours sleep every night. Like I always say, if you are faced with some sort of health issue, there is always something you can do to help yourself feel better! So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, here are a few things you can try!
1 – Stick to a Particular Sleep Schedule
You know the way parents often refer to their child’s “routine” and how important it is to stick to it?! Well guess what? It’s not just kids that need routine! Our adult bodies thrive on it too! Going to bed at the same time each night and rising from bed at the same time each morning is an excellent way of setting your body clock, preparing your body for sleep and making it a much more natural process.
2 – Write Stuff Down
Since I started running my own business, my days are filled with lots of various tasks and they differ each day. I used to go to bed with all of tomorrow’s tasks running around in my head. Now I write the next day’s to-do list before I get ready for bed. It has been really helpful in getting all those thoughts onto paper and therefore out of my head! I know a lot of people also find it useful to do this exercise but instead write down things that they are worried about. Again, it just helps them to process their thoughts and, well, let go of them! A gratitude journal is also a lovely addition to a bedtime routine.
3 – Avoid Stimulants
Most of us are aware that drinking tea or coffee in the evening can disrupt our sleep because of the caffeine in it. But things like sugary foods, or even ANY FOOD can have a similar affect. Try not to eat a lot too close to bedtime and maybe try some natural relaxers such as camomile tea or a warm milky drink. I also put a drop of lavender on my pillow as it is a natural sedative.
4 – Step Away from the Devices!
I know this is really hard to do, but we are all generally well aware of the fact that we should not watch TV or use devices for an hour before bed. Personally, my body doesn’t mind a bit of TV, but if I use my phone or iPad before bed, I really struggle to switch off my brain! For me it’s a combination of the close bright light, the scrolling and the information overload! If an hour seems like a big ask, simply start off by not having your devices anywhere near your bed. And before you say “But I need it for an alarm!”, just do what I do and put that “alarm” on the other side of the room before you get into bed (which also helps you get up the next morning!). Also, turn off all notifications so you are not being woken during the night.
5 – Develop a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Getting rid of the devices leaves you free to do other things and having a little relaxing routine or ritual can really help your body unwind and relax before bed. Try something like taking a bath, or even a shower, a little yoga, colouring or some meditation.
So, there you go, a few tips to help you sleep better. Hopefully you find them helpful!