I am one of those lucky people who never has too much trouble falling asleep! When I have suffered a restless night it is normally the night before a holiday (yes, I always panic about my alarm not going off and missing the flight!) or the night before an important event such as an exam. Sometimes even the smallest of things can niggle away when we are trying to switch off and allow our body to rest. Here are some of my sleep tips for those struggling to sleep (and it doesn’t involve counting sheep!)
Make a list! Keep a notebook next to your bed and write down any important tasks you need to to do the next day and other general worries. This is a great way to clear your mind, stop you worrying about being forgetful and also helps you plan the next day!
Try to avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks last thing at night and swap for a herbal tea or water.
Stick to a similar bedtime routine even at the weekends. It is tempting to lie in but this often resets your body clock and can actually leave you feeling more groggy in the morning!
Have a warm bath before bed, maybe with lavender, cedar wood or bergamot essential oils which can help promote relaxation.
Avoid drinking alcohol too late, a nightcap may seem like the best way to relax but it can actually disrupt your sleep cycle!
Avoid using your phone or computer before bed, instead try reading a book, listening to a bedtime meditation or some relaxing music.
Try not to eat your evening meal too late at night, if you are working late try to keep the meal light. Heavy meals can exacerbate acid reflux making you feel uncomfortable to sleep.
Never go to bed on an argument! Angry, negative emotions can really affect being able to sleep.
Make sure your bedroom is cool, open a window or use a lighter duvet. If your room is too warm you are likely to wake frequently through the night.
Lavender has been known to aid sleep, so try sprinkling a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow before you go to bed.
Avoid energetic, high tempo exercise before bed, swap for gentle yoga and stretching which can help ease you into relaxation.
Try meditation or yoga nidra before bed. If you haven’t got time for a class there are some great apps you can also use.
Don’t let your bedroom become an office! Avoid working in bed or using the computer.
Put your phone on night mode or switch off altogether. Take any other devices that may flash or make noise away from the bedroom.
Plan for the next day before you go to bed. This could be making lunches, getting out your clothes and preparing anything you need to take out with you. This will help organise you and clear your mind.
Create a relaxing atmosphere for your bedroom. This could be the colour, bedding or anything that helps create a sanctuary for relaxation.