You’ve heard it before, sleep is important. Physically we repair, mentally we refocus and spiritually we rest. Good quality sleep is amazing, and is easy to achieve once you know how.
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But what if you’re a light sleeper and get woken up with every movement, every noise? What if it takes you 30+ minutes to actually fall asleep? What if you wake up at the crack of dawn and your brain has turned on with the little voice in your head talking about how all your conversations are going to go and what you’re going to eat at the weekend?
You’re going to be ridiculously happy when I tell you that you can get to sleep in 5 minutes, you can have good quality sleep throughout the night and you can actually wake up with a spring in your step again! Hurrah!
I hear you when you say, ‘I’ve tried so many things before and nothing works’. Maybe you use ear plugs and wear an eye mask. Maybe you’ve tried stretching before bed, or even started journaling. Great! These are all amazing things you can do to unwind, but I have a few little secrets for you that’ll actually help you get that good quality sleep you’ve been needing.
First things first – be consistent! With anything you do in life, if you want something to really impact your life positively, you have to ensure you make a habit of it. Good quality sleep requires a little patience and a little tweaking. Pick one small thing and do it for 7 days – after that it’ll feel more like habit and will be a whole lot easier to stick with.
- PUT YOUR PHONE TO BED TOO
- Back in the olden days, we didn’t have electricity. We didn’t have phones with bright lights shining in our faces or street lamps glaring in through the windows. These are all little things that trick your brain into thinking it’s still day time. Have you ever noticed that if you head outside as soon as you wake up, your body feels lighter and brighter? It’s because your body is awakened by the suns luminance and it kick-starts your body (rather than walking in a dark room and stumbling around trying to find your phone and purse). Being on your phone right before you go to bed means your body still thinks it’s day time so it takes a lot longer to actually fall asleep. Treat your phone like a kid and put it to bed earlier than yourself. 30 minutes to be safe and 2 hours to be amazing.
- GET OILY
- Yum, a massage! Not quite… of course, if you have a masseuse on hand or a generous boyfriend then get them working their magic but if you’re not quite as lucky, then get oily! Lavender has been proven to encourage good quality sleep by 20% Whilst it doesn’t switch your brain off instantly, it does help to prevent stress and agitation in your mind and body – naturally encouraging the quality of sleep your body and mind craves. So pop a few drops on or under your pillow before you head to bed and enjoy the relaxation it brings.
- GET WRITING
- Happiness is a state of mind and is linked with relaxation. If you have a million noisy thoughts in your head before you go to bed, this is a sure fire way to calm them down so you can fall asleep in peace. Mindfulness and journaling have been proven to increase happiness and aid in relaxation and is a really great practice to do before you go to bed. Whip out your fave journal (or treat yourself to a new beautiful one) and free-flow. Write down everything that is on your mind, all of your worries and concerns. More importantly, write down 3 things that went well or that you’re grateful for and how you want tomorrow to go. Writing helps to clear your mind, optimizing your mind for some good quality sleep.
- GET WARM
- Trying to fall asleep when you’re cold is just a recipe for disaster. Regulating the heat around your body induces sleep more quickly. If you have freezing cold hands or feet (girls put your hands up please?!) then you could be making your life a lot harder than it needs to be. Grab a hot water bottle, get some lovely fluffy socks or splash out on an electric blanket and fall asleep faster.
- SWAP YOUR AFTERNOON COFFEE & SUGAR
- Coffee in the afternoon and sugary snacks before you go to bed can dramatically affect the quality of sleep you get. Caffeine can delay the timing of your body clock, which reduces your total sleeping time, and strips you of the deep sleep you could be getting. Eating sugar towards the end of the day causes your blood sugar levels to crash whilst you’re sleeping which also means your sleep is disrupted as your body tries to process the sugars. Be kind to your body and get ready for some good quality sleep by keeping your coffees to the morning and replacing your sugary snack with something else.
Finally, if you’ve given these 5 things a go consistently and you’re still not able to fall asleep with ease then talking to someone about what’s stressing you out will help. Sometimes you just need to get it out of your head, sometimes you just need a sounding board to remind you everything is ok and sometimes you need someone in the know to tell you exactly what to do.
Getting good quality sleep is a gift you should enjoy. It sets your day up for success, for the energy to achieve your goals and the mental capacity to learn new and exciting things. For an extra boost, do some yoga or stretching before you go to sleep to wring out any tension in your body – this is the bit I love. Book in an online session with me once a week to de-stress and get that good quality sleep you deserve.