The following contribution is from another author.
There isn’t a person alive right now that isn’t in need of a really good night’s sleep. The problem is there are so many other things to do. If you have children then once they have gone to bed, and you have finished putting things away, tidying up, and finally sat down, it can already be somewhere between 9 and 10 pm. Which means you likely have another 2 hours before you and your brain are both ready to sleep.
If you don’t have a really good routine, then you might find that you are laying in bed scrolling on your phone waiting to feel tired. And sometimes that moment just doesn’t come. There are some things you can do to help give yourself a better night’s sleep.
If you are doing the same thing, day in and day out you can almost begin to do them without thinking about it. The same goes for introducing a sleep routine. If you have a baby, then you already know the importance of a good bedtime routine – but you need one too! The routine sends signals to your brain that you need to begin winding down, and soon, you will be in bed. After a few weeks, then the time that you set yourself to go to bed, you will find yourself yawning before you have finished your routine. Start your routine an hour or more before you want to go to sleep.
The side effect of this will be that you will likely find yourself in a matter of weeks learning how much sleep your body really needs and then waking up at the same time every day. This makes getting an extra few hours on the weekends or your days off a lot more complicated. However, you probably won’t need it if you are genuinely filling your sleep quota.
Reading is the top choice for slowly getting yourself into a really relaxed state. Unless you are reading something that is gripping or scary, which might kick your fight or flight mode into gear. If you are looking for something extra to help you drift off, then you might like to start meditating before you go to sleep or listening to sleep stories. The calm app has a lot of fantastic sleep stories that help people drift off. The dulcet tones of the storyteller combined with soft background music works wonders on letting you switch off and drift away to dreamland.
Relaxation is a crucial part of your routine too. Ideally, you will have a warm bath, read a book, write a journal, or something else that isn’t strenuous and puts you in a calm mood.
In a weird twist, the more you try to sleep, the less you will be able too. Because your brain will begin to focus on monitoring if you are asleep or not. This causes you to stay awake, monitoring your own sleep. If you find you are laying in bed for more than 20 minutes without drifting off, then get out of bed and do something that isn’t in your bedroom. You can do a simple chore, listening to relaxing music or read some more of your book. The longer you lay there, the more frustrated you will become.
The temperature of the room will play a big part in how well you sleep. If the room is too warm, you will wake many times trying to make your body cooler. If your room is too cold, you will have problems being cozy. Many people find it best to sleep with the window open, even in the winter, and adjust their layers of clothing and bedding accordingly.
A dark room helps people to sleep better. There is a reason that blackout blinds are recommended for babies. If a room is dark and quiet, you won’t be trying to find something to look at, or starting at any lights. Lights trigger you to wake up. Our bodies are naturally tuned to our environment – aka the sun comes up, we wake up, the sun goes down, we go to sleep. So the light is interrupting our typical physiological reactions.
If your mattress is too hard or too soft, you are going to have problems getting comfortable. Your mattress is something that deserves to have some money spent on it. After all, it supports your body for around 8-12 hours a day! If you get stuck in the land of mattress jargon, then look at the 2019 top mattress pick. Make sure that your sheets are clean and dry, and brushed cotton is generally more comfortable and cozy that many other fabrics. Plus, cotton is breathable, which means you won’t overheat during the nice provided your duvet is the right tog for the time of year.
If you have trouble relaxing fully, then you might like to consider a sleep spray. It is spritzed around the room and lightly on your pillow and provides a calming scent. Typically this will be lavender. It’s a soft scent that is known for its relaxing properties.
Often we can’t get to sleep because we simply have too much energy left from the day. If you are consistently finding that you can’t wind down when it comes to bedtime, you should consider adding a source of energy expulsion into your routine. If you incorporate at least 30 minutes of activity per day, you are much more likely to bring your energy levels down. It is better if you do this first thing in the morning or at least 6 hours before you are thinking about going to sleep.
Getting a great night’s sleep really starts an hour before you are intending to head to bed. To give yourself the best chance, follow these tips consistently and see what a difference you can make to how you sleep – and how rested you feel.