Having trouble sleeping? Don’t despair. Whether it’s a Netflix obsession, the lure of Instagram or next door’s newborn that’s keeping you wide awake, these top tips will soon have you switching off and falling into a deep and dreamy slumber…
Learn To Switch Off
According to Scientific American, cell phones, tablets and alarm clocks with a digital display glow with blue light, which suppresses melatonin (the hormone that helps you fall asleep) and messes with your natural body clock, making it think it’s time to wake up. To counteract it, make sure everything is switched off at the socket or, even better, ban it from your bedroom completely. And, if daylight peeks in under your drapes come sunrise, invest in a blackout blind or use a Slip Sleep Mask. As well as making a huge difference to how you’re sleeping, they have the added benefit of protecting the delicate skin around the eyes from creasing whilst you sleep.
Create A Calm Space
Declutter your bedroom Marie Kondo-style and create a space that’s clean, neat and simple with soft tones that help you feel calm. Lavender and geranium scents are naturally calming so look for them in pillow sprays like Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Sleep Time Pillow Mist or scented candles and spritz or burn them before you go to bed. If you’re too hot (or too cold) you won’t sleep soundly. Your body heat peaks in the evening and then drops to its lowest levels when you’re asleep, so wear something cosy and make sure your bedroom is at a cool 60-64° F – it’s thought to be the ideal temperature for getting in good quality zzz’s.
Wind Down And Relax
Make sure you’re completely relaxed before heading off to sleep. Sneaking in an extra episode of something on Netflix might seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s probably also the reason your mind is racing half an hour before getting into bed. Instead, have a warm bubble bath packed with relaxing essential oils such as camomile, vetiver or rose around an hour before bedtime to help you wind down. Warm, milky drinks and herbal teas are a good alternative to caffeinated tea or alcohol and you’ve heard it before but switching scrolling for reading or some deep breathing will put you in the right frame of mind for sleeping.
Invest In The Best Bedding
The cornerstone of a great night’s sleep is a comfortable bed. If you regularly wake up with aches and pains, it’s probably time to change your mattress, as research shows that sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can cost you up to one hour’s sleep per night, adding up to a full night’s sleep over the course of the week. It’s also worth investing in some gorgeous bed linen – a silk pillowcase might seem super indulgent – but it also prevents morning-after face creases and bed head hair too. Win-win.
Eat Sleep-Friendly Foods
When it comes to getting a restful night’s sleep, the food and drink you consume has a significant effect. The best foods for sleep include milk, cherries, chicken and rice, while fatty meats, curry and alcohol are some of the worst. Avoid stimulants like caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol and, if you can, eat your heaviest meal before 7.00pm – eating dinner late at night has been proven to trigger stomach problems and could even be the cause of those weird dreams you might be having.
Move Your Body For Better Sleep
Need another reason to exercise? Thought so. According to research, working out effectively can tire your body out, promoting a better night’s sleep as well as releasing pent up tension and banishing stress before bedtime. But don’t overdo it. Wearing yourself out isn’t likely to induce sleepiness. In fact, it can make your mind and body become even more alert in the lead up to bedtime. Post gym, massage in a muscle soothing gel or exfoliate your tired limbs with REN Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Salt Anti-Fatigue Exfoliating Body Scrub. It’s been proven to help the body unwind after exercise.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
We’ve all been there. You’re super tired so head up to bed early – only to find you can’t stop your mind going over the meeting you had with your boss or the disagreement you had with a friend. According to experts, when you’re worried, your heart rate increases, causing the brain to ‘race’, producing beta waves that make you feel too stimulated to sleep. Manage your heart rate by dabbing a calming balm or essential oils onto pressure points and slowly breathing in and out until your mind stops racing. Camomile, vetiver and jasmine are all brilliant at restoring relaxation.