A Good Guide to Sleep

 We know many of us have been struggling to get a good night's sleep over the last few months. You may get into bed and find your mind racing, worrying about everything, maybe you take hours to fall asleep or maybe you have a restless night's sleep, waking up numerous times. 

We have a few tips that may help, you may have tried all of these and more and still find yourself tossing and turning and checking the time throughout the night. If that's the case try not to let the lack of sleep cause you stress, you will sleep eventually and worrying about it will only add more stress to the situation. 

Tips: 

  • The app Headspace - a great app for meditation and sleep.

  • The NHS website also has some great advice.  

  • White noise - some of you may have used this for your little ones, believe us when we say it works for adults too! The sound of the waves, forest, rain all of these things can help lull us into a nice relaxed sleep. There are apps on your phone and tablet. We would suggest turning your phone/tablet screen to dark mode.

  •  Audio books and podcasts. 

  • No blue light! No screens! Make the bedroom a place just for sleep, no television screen, phone, tablet in the bedroom. 

  • Blue light cancelling glasses - use these in the evening whilst watching TV looking at screens. It is proven blue light is no good for sleep.
     
  •  Exercise - this is SO important! This doesn't have to be a full on workout you could just walk round your garden, living room, up and down your stairs. Try some light yoga. Do whatever your body allows you to do exercise wise! It not only helps us sleep it floods our bodies with those amazing endorphins that make us feel happy. 

  • No caffeine or sugar after 4pm! 

  • Cut back on alcohol, we might think drinking a few glasses will help us pass out easier but in fact you will have a more disturbed sleep and it will not be the restful sleep you want it to be. 

  • Read. 

  • If you are feeling anxious try not to watch or read the news, go on social media before bed, it will all still be there in the morning. 

  • Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day, drink enough water! 2 litres a day if you can.

  • The place you sleep is just as important as what you do. Try to make your room as comfortable and relaxing as possible to improve your chances of getting to sleep. The ideal room is dark and quiet, with a temperature between 18C and 24C.

  • Vitamins and minerals to keep functioning properly and that includes sleep. Many of us are deficient in the essential mineral, magnesium, and this has been found to cause insomnia, so eating foods such as leafy green veg, pumpkin seeds and almonds can up your intake. A healthy and balanced diet is so important.

  • Try Relaxation Techniques: Don’t focus on trying to fall asleep; instead, focus on just trying to relax. Controlled breathing, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery are examples of relaxation methods that can help.

  • Don’t Stew in Bed: You want to avoid a connection in your mind between your bed and frustration from sleeplessness. This means that if you’ve spent around 20 minutes in bed without being able to fall asleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing in low light. Avoid checking the time during this time. Try to get your mind off of sleep for at least a few minutes before returning to bed.

  • Try to be in bed around 10:30pm to try and establish routine. Science suggests that for every hour you have of sleep before midnight your body actually gets two hours for that hour of rest and it is restorative sleep. 

  • Try not to eat late as this wakes up the hormones in your stomach to be awake. 

  • Have a relaxing tea or hot milky drink before bed. 
  • Use essential oils in a diffuser the likes of lavender & frankincense are very good in promoting relaxation. 
  • Writing your thoughts down before you sleep or having a notebook beside your bed for thoughts that are stopping you sleeping, like things you need to do, things you are worried about. 
  •  Have a set routine time to aim to go to bed and a time to get up each day. This will really help your body establish routine.

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