I don’t know about you but I hate it when I don’t sleep well. It’s one of the worst things isn’t it, it makes you feel groggy, not with it and grumpy. It makes your eyes look dull and not as bright and sparkly as they could be. It doesn’t make you feel your best at all. It’s also worse when you only just get back to sleep and then the bloody alarm clock goes off, aarrgh!!
Did you know that having a good night’s sleep is essential for our health too?
Our bodies need to rest. We’re on the go most of the day and even if we’re not doing physical activities all day long, we are still using our brain. I don’t just mean like now, you are using your brain to read this and I am using my brain to think about what to write. I mean our brains are giving the instructions for basic functions, such as sitting, walking, eating and digesting food, breathing, talking, everything we do in fact! Think how much information our brains need to process every day. So it needs a chance to rest a little at night time! I think I read somewhere that our brain sorts out out all the information it is bombarded with during the day, overnight. It can sort it out into what we do need and what we don’t need.
Our other organs need a rest at some time too. Sleeping gives our heart a chance to slow down a little and our other organs can have a break from digesting the food and drink that we swallow and whatever else they do. This time can then be spent on regenerating, restoring, strengthening and renewing. Our body heals itself while we sleep.
For all these reasons we need to make sure that we get good quality sleep, it is really important. So what can we do to help ourselves?
Sorry but the first thing I am going to say is cut down on alcohol if you know you drink to excess. I’m only going on my experience. When I was drinking I would go to bed and fall asleep so easily which is great right? NO NO NO. I would then wake up about two or three in the morning and do you think I could get back to sleep? Those nights were so stressful, I would literally lie there for hours, turning this way then that…cover on, cover off. I tried sleep apps where you can listen to someone trying to hypnotise you back to sleep. With these apps sometimes I would fall asleep but then wake up about an hour later and have to listen to it again, over and over. Don’t get me wrong some of the apps are great, they just didn’t work for me. Those nights really were no good to me at all.
Not being able to sleep is so stressful and the more stressed you are, the harder it is to get to sleep, which makes you more stressed. It’s like a roundabout going round and round and round.
Next I would recommend an eye mask, you know the sort that are elasticated and block out the light. I have one that is made of silk so it feels nice and cool and it is meant to stop your eyes being puffy too. I don’t wake up the middle of the night anymore (I don’t think) but if do I think I nod straight back off because there is no distraction, if that makes sense. When I first started to wear it the elastic was a bit annoying but I’m used to it now. (It’s also great if you want a bit of a lie in and the sun is shining 😎)
I always have a drink of something warm and comforting a couple of hours before I go to bed (not brandy!) I usually have something like Ovaltine or hot chocolate. Milk contains something called tryptophan, this is an amino acid that helps you produce serotonin and melatonin- hormones that help you sleep. There are debates as to whether this is enough but regardless of this, it’s quite comforting to have a nice warm drink so maybe it just makes me feel more relaxed.
Have the heating off in your bedroom. This is what I have done. Your body cools down as you sleep so if it is slightly cooler in your room, this will be more comfortable and help you sleep quicker. Obviously if you are the sort of person who feels the cold a lot then this might make you too uncomfortable so in this case, maybe just turn it down a bit.
I use a lavender scented pillow sleep spray. Lavender is calming and soothing and as a natural product is great to add to the bedtime routine. I also have a lavender reed diffuser in my bedroom, which may help but also makes the room smell gorgeous too! There are quite a few places that do a pillow spray, I’m using a Boots one at the moment but you can get them in M & S, Holland and Barrett, John Lewis and loads of other shops.
These are the things I do and I have been sleeping so well lately. It is probably a combination of the above things and I know I haven’t backed my ideas up with scientific proof. All I know is it’s been a while since I’ve had a night of hell and I feel loads better for it.
I think having a comfortable, dark bedroom helps too and at the moment I still have the cream wallpaper the previous occupants of my home decorated with. I have my eye on some gorgeous grey wallpaper, with a slight bit of silver sparkle – of course! I think I need to decorate sooner rather than later – just to prove my theory! Hmm just off to Pin…