We all know that sleep is important, it affects our whole lives if we encounter problems with it, so I’ve listed 9 of my top tips to help improve your sleep!
1. Relaxing smells. – Lavender is usually a great go-to scent for encouraging sleep, and you can even purchase pillow mists to really help you to drift off, as it promotes a deeper sleep.
2. Dim lights. – You can interpret this any way you choose, whether you simply don’t have any harsh lights on in your room, and only have one lamp on, or you can fully commit and reduce all artificial light. Yep, I mean that harsh light, illuminating the room, from technology. I really do recommend turning your phone onto silent about an hour before you intend to go to bed, and having an hour of turning down time. You can read a book, (great for relaxing and adjusting your eyes ready to sleep!) Anything at all, so long as it is not radiating a light onto your face.
3. Reduce caffeine. – I know this can be a difficult one, especially if you enjoy a pre-bed cup of tea, but many people forget that there is just as much caffeine in a cup of tea, as there is in a cup of coffee! Therefore it’s always best to go for a decaf, or herbal tea for your pre-bed drink.
4. Sleep only at night. – I know a mid afternoon nap would feel amazing right now, but your body will remind you all about it when it comes to sleeping fully in the evening. If your body is really exhausted and you know that you will be unable to function without a nap during the day, aim for 30 minute sleep cycles when you can, this allows the body to fully rest and you’ll wake up feeling properly recharged instead of the usually post-nap grogginess.
5. Taking a hot shower/bath. – The heat from a bath or shower will relax any tension that you have built up in your muscles, meaning that if you are going to bed after, your body will already be relaxed and ready for sleep. If you don’t have time, or you prefer to shower in the mornings, take a minute to tense all of the muscles in your body, including your fingers. Notice how tense you feel, and inhale and hold it for 5 seconds, then release all of that tension, feel it drain out of you and exhale with it. You’ll feel less tense and it’ll trick your mind into falling asleep quicker.
6. Schedule. – I know one of the last things we want to think about doing is having a schedule when it comes to relaxing, but having a ‘usual’ time for falling asleep means our body develops its own internal routine, meaning the longer you stick to it, the quicker you’ll fall asleep.
7. Darkness. – Obviously at night, your room is pretty dark, but if you have slivers of light flooding your room, it will keep your brain awake. Sleeping in absolute darkness encourages the release of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep.
8. Create an environment that you love, and feel relaxed in. For me, I have a huge soft blanket that serves to keep me extra warm, and provide comfort when you need it. I also highly recommend only sleeping in clothes that are comfortable and entirely non-restricting, this is obvious, but if you’re trying to sleep in something uncomfortable, you’re not going to drift off quickly.
9. And finally, if you wear makeup, make sure you’ve completely removed it, I find I can’t fully relax without taking my makeup off, part of my mind remains awake if I still have it on. Plus, it does your skin a massive favour to be free all night, so if you’re suffering with bad skin and you don’t take off your makeup at night, that’s the first thing you should change.
Those are some of the things that I would really recommend if you’re having difficulty drifting off, do you have any tips that you’ve found to be useful? Share them in the comments below!