Doesn’t the world seem much brighter when you wake up from a good night’s sleep? Unfortunately it’s not necessarily something that’s easily achieved. The pressures of modern life, lack of night-time routines and the technology we use, can all prevent us from settling down at bedtime and keep us up tossing and turning through the night.
We touched on the subject of getting a good night’s sleep back in our morning routine post – so we thought we’d give you some more tips to help you go to bed feeling relaxed, ready to switch off and wake up the next day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Step away from technology
One of the biggest causes of restless nights and struggling to fall asleep in our modern society is our addiction to our phones. Not only does the light they emit overstimulate our brains, but how many times have you gone to ‘quickly’ check your Facebook before bed? Six cute cat videos and an hour scrolling on Instagram later and you realise that your early night plans have been wasted.
It is recommended that we switch off our screens at least 30 minutes before bed. Even better than that, if you can bare to be apart, it’s better to leave our phones, tablets and computers out of our rooms altogether to help reduce restless nights.
If you use your phone as an alarm clock why not invest in a daylight alarm, one that will wake you slowly using natural light, a much gentler way to be woken.
Caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns too. It’s best to limit coffee drinking to a maximum of 4 cups a day, and to stop drinking late afternoon if you don’t want it to keep you up all night. Alcohol and sleep don’t mix either, so you should keep drinking to a minimum if you want to get plenty of quality shut-eye.
Try switching to herbal teas that are naturally caffeine free in the afternoon, and if you like a warm drink to soothe you in the evenings, a nice sleep inducing blend could be beneficial to help send you off to the land of nod.
Not just for babies and children, sticking to a nightly bedtime can send your body the cues to signal that it’s time to sleep and help you fall into a more regular pattern.
Try and keep your bedtime consistent every night (aiming to be sleeping, not just in bed, at a time that will give you the coveted 7-8 hours adults need), and follow the same routine every night. You need to give your mind time to relax and switch off in preparation to sleep so you should never rush taking yourself to bed. As mentioned above, TVs, laptops, phones and computers should be off at least 30 minutes before you intend to sleep. A nice warm (but not too warm) bath, face cleansing ritual, a cup of herbal tea, reading a book and making sure you’re cosy and comfortable would all be nice elements to add to your nightly routine.
Some people find that switching off the phones is the easy part, it’s the switching off of the mind that can take the longest time.
If you’re struggling to stop your mind racing or your head is floating with worries, try some anxiety busting techniques that could help you clear your head ready to sleep. Why not try mindful colouring, reading, or meditating before bed? Some find that writing out their worries can help, or even writing out the positives to distract is beneficial.
Don’t lie in!
We hate to be the bringer of ‘bad news’, we know it’s seen as such a luxury for most but unfortunately sleeping ‘too much’ can actually have an adverse effect on our sleep cycles! So while turning off your alarm and embracing a lazy morning at the weekend may seem like a great idea at the time, it can actually muddle your cycles and make you feel sleepier/find it more difficult to sleep when it’s time to return to your usual schedule. It’s apparently best for us to sleep and wake at the same times every day.
We hope our guide helps you to get plenty of good quality sleep. Be sure to follow up with a good morning routine too, some nice stretching to wake your system up and a healthy breakfast.