Life has been tough, its been unpredictable, its been chaos, its been unreliable….. all the things we usually have a firm grip off and are in control off…. Covid took it and spat it out in a rage, leaving us confused, unorganised, disorientated and loosing a good night sleep.
I have got to admit, getting a good night sleep has been easier than the early covid days- when their was more uncertainty and unknowing. But still sleep is not as it should be. I am sure that the same for a lot of us.
We all know the importance of a good night sleep, as well as getting us ready and fit for the next day, it also boosts the immune system and promotes well-being and mental health.
Lack of Sleep contributes to anxiety, depression, explosive behaviour, fatigue- this being the least of issues, so to assist myself….. and you I came up with a few tips to aid in getting a good night sleep.
Tech Free Bedroom
I mean this is the simplest and common sense, but has to be the hardest right? I still struggle with it, especially because we have a television in the room. Also I had become a person who religiously use to check, Instagram, then Facebook, then a few shopping apps and then switch off…..it was like a nighttime routine. But now I try to keep my phone at the side, and switch the TV off at least half hour before I want to sleep, so that I can have a brain detox and allow the brain knows its ready to drift. Do this religiously and the routine will kick in.
Look after your Body Physically
You get one of those days where you wake up to a stiff shoulder? but you ignore it because of day to day life’s errands?… That very shoulder will come to haunt you at night!
Put your body first, Prioritise and listen to what your body is telling you. Whether its a stiff shoulder or a headache- If it means having a pain killer or even a quick pop in to the chemist- Make sure you do that! It’ll help in a good night sleep but also during the day you will feel better.
Get the right equipment to help you to get to sleep…. What Equipment?! I heard you!…… If you have a streetlight glare through your window- or live outside a main street. Get Equipment like Eye masks to darken the room or ear plugs to drown out the noise, to help you to get the extra hours of sleep.
If you live in a property with no sunlight, invest in Lumie Bodyclock or a SAD light. Allow the light to come in and control your natural body clock.
The equipment can really make a difference for a good nights sleep.
For me this is a huge factor. I am forever cold, like forever…. like even whens its warm…. I will be cold! (Yes. I don’t understand it myself!).
My hubby on the other hand is forever warm! he needs the windows open, the air conditioner on…… The temperature of our house is the source of many of our little arguments. Because of this difference in body temperature, my hubby hangs his body outside of the blanket, whilst I tuck myself in with a hot bottle (or two). So work on whats best for the both of you and create the perfect temperature for You to enable a good nights sleep.
Daily Life stress and overthinking can keep you awake. Sometimes just thinking that ‘I want to Sleep‘ can keep you awake! I’ve become better at dealing with stress by thinking out to myself ‘Its another day tomorrow and I will deal with it tomorrow’. Yes! That’s definitely easier said than done! But before going to sleep try and wind down the thoughts that are giving you anxiety. Sometimes some soft music, or putting your energy and thoughts onto something else more relaxing helps.
Food and Drinks
Caffeine is a big No!! As is food with loads of sugar as they increase the energy levels, and so you need to avoid them.
Milk, Oats, Rice, and dairy products are all heavy, and they promote sleep. so a nice large cup of Horlicks will do wonders before sleep, Try it out.
(also avoid alcohol, it may help you sleep, but you will definitely need the loo in the middle of the night. Disturbed sleep really doesn’t help)
The hubby is really struggling at the moment, with Lock down the gyms are closed as are sports centres. Being a person who went to the gym 3 times a week and plays football 2 times a week minimum- he is struggling because his body is no longer tired, therefore interfering with his sleep.
Exercise during the day can help the body feel tired and therefore engage in a better nights sleep.
Right, this one’s a tricky one. I need a Power nap Daily! If I don’t manage to fit in a power nap I will literally have a power nap at night and be awake for most of the night, so for me I need a power nap in order to sleep properly at night.
The hubby on the other hand- doe’s not understand that a power nap is 20mins and wakes up 2 hours later- feels low and groggy and then is awake all night!
So I continue with my 20 minutes power nap daily- and the hubby will go for a walk, or a bike ride to keep the eyes open till bedtime. Do what your body allows you to.
Only Sleep if your body wants too
Don’t force yourself to sleep, you will only stay up longer and more thoughts will come into your head. If you know you can’t sleep and your body is not tired enough, go for a walk, read, have some snacks, do a crossword… but do not sit there waiting for it. It won’t come when your thinking of it.
Routine, Routine, Routine
This is so important! Get up at the same time everyday, go to sleep at the same time everyday. Meals and exercise should also have strict timing. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it. Your body will thank you for it. The routine will allow the mind to know when its time to sleep, therefore enforcing a good nights sleep.
….but what if I still cant sleep?
If you have exhausted yourself of all the options above and are still struggling to sleep, you may have a medical condition such as Insomnia or Sleep Apnea. It is best to discuss this with a doctor.
Have you tried any of these? What works for you? Is there anything different that you do?
Love and Regards