It sounds so cliche to say that sleep is important but I am the person who gets cranky if I don’t sleep well. My boyfriend is actually the opposite and can be fine after only 3-4 hours sleep. As I have gotten older I have taken small steps to make sure that my sleep is as peaceful as possible and I have found that they have really helped me sleep like a log. I now sleep better at home than if we go away for a weekend at a hotel! Though a disclaimer has to be said I can sleep almost anywhere – so even when travelling I will sleep on a bus, in a car or flying so guess I am quite lucky in that regard.
This has been both the hardiest and most effective change that we made. All electronics likes our phones, kindle and iPads no longer are kept or used in our bedroom. I took a step back and seen that for about at least 30 minutes before we turned off the lights we were on our phones. It’s not that we were being particularly anti-social it was just a habit that we had fallen into. The same when we woke and turned off our alarms on the phone – we were onto Facebook, Twitter etc.
Enough was enough. We banned them from the bedroom and brought an old school alarm clock. And it has made such a difference, I now read before bed and we actually talk before we fall asleep. There are also no notifications etc. pinging in so no lights lighting up beside us. We both now charge our phones overnight in the spare room and the volume is up loud on them in case someone does call.
Write it Down
I don’t know if you are the same but sometimes I find that my mind is racing and that I am stressed out about something before bed and it feels like once I lie down to sleep it all just starts going round and round. It has gotten better since I have become more mindful of my thoughts however I now also have a notebook beside my bed that I just write down anything that is on my mind. Not in great detail but just notes. I find that when I do this it means that I have it down on paper I don’t stress as much. I would highly recommend that you try this if you find your mind is racing at night.
Since my boyfriend is training for a half marathon and I have increased my fitness schedule we find that we are both more naturally tired in the evenings. We purposely don’t work out within 2 hours of heading to bed as otherwise we are just too awake to fall asleep but exercising earlier in the day has helped us both with the deepness of our sleep.
Our rented house came with blinds in each room – which is fine for the spare rooms and living room etc. but we found that the street light was coming in the cracks in the blinds in our room and actually lit the room up quite a lot. We decided to buy black out curtains and they are also thermal lined. So we now sleep in near perfect darkness and they also help to keep the room warm. Personally, I have always been able to sleep in the bright as well as darkness however I have noticed that I am sleeping slightly deeper than before.
The soft side
We brought new pillows when we started discussing how to improve our sleep as new pillows are so comfy and I fully believe that your bed should be comfortable and soft. I may have also treated myself to new pajames…. 🙂 I am the biggest fan of opening a window and letting a room air (though my boyfriend thinks I am just freezing the house), and I like falling alseep in a fresh room. Our duvet is really soft and cosy and we always change the bed covers each week!
I have read so many articles about creating a routine at night to get your body prepared for bed and if I am honest I have been lacking in recent months with my night time skin routine. So I decided to actually write out what I wanted to use skincare wise at night and then actually plan out a skincare routine. I don’t think that this has made any difference in getting my body ready for bed however my skin is doing so much better and feels so much softer. I am also back to using my Clarasonic a few times a week – there was a layer of dust that had to be cleared first but I think that my skin is clearer now than any time in the last year.
The second hardiest thing to do (after getting rid of the phones from our bedroom!) was trying to set up a ‘normal’ sleep pattern for ourselves. We have always been the people who stay up until 1am watching a series on Netflix and then kicking ourselves the following day when we are shattered. So we decided a ‘bedtime’ of asleep by 10pm where possible. What I now do (most nights) is set an alarm for 9pm Sunday to Thursday and once that goes off we turn off the TV and shut down the laptops if we are on them. It is amazing what you can achieve when you don’t have the TV on! We now can food prep before bed and actually get up earlier in the mornings. We also try and avoid sleeping in really late at the weekends though a few hours here and there don’t bother us.
Although not directly related to falling alseep at night, I find that if I plan the following morning I wake up knowing what I am going to do. And I do not mean planning down to 10 minutes windows. I plan my breakfast, if I will work out and also take out my clothes for the next day including any gym wear that I might need. By taking 10 minutes the night before it saves me any stress at all the following morning as I don’t need to think as much about what needs to be done.
On a sidenote, I don’t use any pillow sprays or essential oils on my pillows or in the sleep areas at night. Some people swear by them and if they work for you that is brilliant. My reasoning is a practical one; if I forget to take my pillow spray with me then I don’t want it to effect my sleep if I ma not in my normal bed. I don’t want to become over reliant on a certain scent to aid me in sleeping!
These few practices have made the biggest difference to our day to day lives. It really is quite unbelievable the difference it makes to you in work and at home. I find that I am more alert and don’t suffer from the 3pm slump like I used to. I also find that since I am more aware I make better food choices – and that is never a bad thing 🙂 Do you have any sleep tips that you use?
And also remember everyone has sleepless nights at times and that is okay but if you find that you can’t sleep for days on end then go and visit your doctor as they may be able to help.