“The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream.” – Marilyn Monroe
Sleep is hands down my favourite hobby. I literally daydream when I’m at work about how good it’s going to feel when I next get to snuggle up in bed and get snoozy! However, despite the fact that the Autumn & Winter months are my favourite time of year for so many reasons, the colder weather rolling in always messes with my sleep for some weird reason! I think it must be something to do with adjusting to shorter days and longer nights, or even maybe because I suffer a little with my mood in the first month or two of Autumn – but whatever it is, it drives me bloody mad!
So, I’d searched the internet high and low for recommendations on how to get into a better sleep routine, and ways to helps me have better quality sleep. I found some great suggestions, but also some really obvious stuff, or even stuff that was massively extravagant or OTT, like measuring the exact temperature in your room, or checking the fung shui… erm, no thanks.
Since then though, I’ve been trying out some of the advice I found & for the last few weeks I’ve been working on making better sleepy time habits. They’re actually working really well, so I thought I’d share a few non-pompous, simple and realistic ways I’ve bettered my sleeping routine!
As a side note, I should probably add as disclosure that you don’t have to follow these tips religiously forever, but they are good to try for a few weeks to make sure you’re getting your body clock realigned, and preparing you for a good sleep every night! (okay, most nights – but maybe not on those Saturdays when you come in at 3am with a half-eaten kebab, wearing one less eyelash than you went out with…)
Try to go to bed at the same time most nights
I think this is one that a lot of us could do quite easily if we actually tried, as it works well if you’re getting up for the same time each morning to go to get ready for work. It sounds like such an obvious change couldn’t make that much difference, but trust me, it works wonders for breaking those periods of insomnia you might have.
Don’t take gadgets & devices to bed (not ones with a screen anyway – oioi!)
Wireless gadgets & devices are so convenient and useful to us most of the time, but can be a nightmare for our sleep pattern (pardon the pun…). Be strict with yourself, and try to restrict electronic device usage to any other room in the house but your bedroom. And if you HAVE to use them in the bedroom, make sure it’s not when you’re actually in bed. I know most people say this is because of the blue light the devices omit, but for me it’s just because it’s too easy to check Twitter once more, or watch one more YouTube video. When they’re nowhere near me while I’m in bed, I’m not using them. I’m too lazy to get up!
No caffeine after 4pm
I have no idea if it’s a proven fact or not, but I know for me if I have a cup of caffeinated tea at 8pm, I’m going to be wide awake for hours… sometimes this is great when I have work to do and I need to pull a late one, but usually it just means a restless night. So lately I’ve switched to camomile tea, and it calms and relaxes me much better than a cup of regular tea or coffee ever would!
Do whatever relaxes you most
This one is a bit open ended, but is probably the most useful tip for me. Take more notice of how you feel when you’re doing what you love, and if it relaxes you, consider moving doing it to just before you want to go to sleep. For some this might be exercising, or tidying, or chatting to your mum on the phone. For me, I love a good bath before a good night’s sleep – they work wonders for me when I’m anxious. I love to wind down with my bedroom dark or dimly lit by a candle.
Try a pillow spray
I was recently sent the REN sleep spray, and its been great to help me wind down either further before I head off to sleep. I love this spray because it isn’t just a blast of overbearing lavender, but instead is a calming blend of essential oils like frankincense & hops with a balanced amount gentle lavender. Ive been using it for two weeks now, and I think its been working so well because its helping to calm my anxiety before nodding off.
Its a very earthy, and is perfect after a particularly busy or stressful day. Its a recipe for disaster whenever I go to bed, still reeling from the day! So a dark, cool room, empty of bright screens and sounds, along with a quick misting of pillow spray is an ideal way for my to get in the right head space for good sleep. Perfect!
Be as comfortable as possible
A no-brainer really, but make sure you’re at your most comfortable before you try and sleep. This includes what you wear (or don’t wear, in my case!) to sleep in, getting the room cool enough, making the room dark enough – whatever it is that gets you ready for catching those Zzzzzzs!
What tips do you follow to make sure you get a good night’s sleep? What works best, and what is just rubbish when it comes to sleep tips? Let me know in the comments below, and let’s talk all things snoozy!