A good nights sleep is one of the most important things for health and happiness right? We’re all told we should get to bed early and try and get our standard 8 hours as part of a normal sleep routine. So why is it so hard to achieve?!
I was never someone who struggled to sleep until the last few years. I think it’s a sign of getting older but also the stresses of life adding up, your brain never seems to switch off with being constantly available via smart phones and the demand to do and be more to keep up with everyone else and achieve more.
I recently completed a poll on twitter to see if my improved sleep routine was going to be of interest which 80% of you said you would so I decided to get it down on paper (or screen….). I was also told it was World Sleep Day on March 15th, so timed my post appropriately!
Read on below to see my top ways to make yourself a sleep routine.
1) Arrange your room – make sure your bedroom is as comfortable as possible for you, the ideal situation is to have a cold room with minimal light interference. Blackout blinds are the best option but also cosndir the bulbs you have and if you can deal with some lower level lighting, maybe a dimmer switch or even candles will be better for the last hour you are awake. As for keeping your room cold I always open the window before going to sleep, fresh air and a cooler temperature really help.
Another thing I’m guilty of is spending more time in my bedroom than necessary – I could watch TV and read in there too but try and do these things in a different room so your bedroom is kept separate for sleep and becomes associated with that.
2) Aromatherapy works! I always thought the lavender essential oil thing was a bit ‘woo woo’ and I wouldn’t ever bother. But eventually I gave in and picked up a selection box from Amazon, it really is a relaxing scent and now I’m hooked.
I have an aroma diffuser which I use to add my chosen scent to the house and I add lavender to it in the evenings, I’ve also found that tea tree is good for soothing and rosemary is also known to help reduce the feeling of stress. I’ve also invested in a pillow spray, I was given a tester of the ‘This Works’ pillow spray from a hotel and I absolutely love it. I have found random others since then and am planning on making my own to my own requirements soon! Definitely recommend adding this one to your sleep routine.
3) No screens before bed – this includes phones and TV. You can buy blue-blocker glasses (they have yellow lenses) to help block out the blue light given out by screens but the best thing is to allow your eyes to relax and not be squinting at screens late at night. Leave the instagram scrolling for your breaks or commutes and not first or last thing of your day
4) Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake especially before bed – I’m a total tea and gin addict (I’m sort of skipping a few years and going from young adult to granny!)
I don’t tend to drink much now unless I’m going ‘out out’ but even the odd gin when I’m celebrating a good day can cause my sleep to be affected. So I’ve found some sleep teas to help me, my favourite being from T2. My brother got me onto this brand and also the specific Sleep Tight loose leaf tea, it’s the shizz! I absolutely fell in love with it and it calms and relaxes me instantly – also not something I thought a tea could do (I’m such a sceptic!). I’ve since tried their Sweet Dreams and Deliciously Dreamy teas and can vouch for them too. There are a lot of bedtime teas available now but these ones are my favourite, I regularly travel with it now in a little tin with my handy T2 Travel Kit.
5) Empty your brain – I keep a notebook by my bed and write down anything I’m thinking about before bed. It could be a shopping list, compounds or methods I need to look up for work, blog posts and photos I need to take or just about anything really!
It’s also really useful for when I wake up in the middle of the night and think of something, maybe I’ve forgotten to add to my list or it’s someones birthday etc….it means I can note it down and forget about it allowing me to go back to sleep.
6) Lush Sleepy Cream – you might have heard of this but it is absolutely the BOMB. It’s been on a lot of websites recently but the Sleepy range from Lush has a few products including the shower gel, body cream, naked shower gel and shower bomb. I have the shower gel and body cream but I use the body cream the most. I don’t use a lot of it as a little goes a long way but I just apply it to my arms and chest so I can breathe in the scent.
It contains lavender oil, oat milk, tonka absolute and cocoa butter and it makes my skin feel amazing which is a bonus whilst you’re drifting off! It does cost a fair bit at £8.75 for 95g but I think it’s worth it when I use a little bit.
7) Exercise will help – If you aren’t a regular exerciser or if you are a ‘balls to the wall’ kind of exerciser then you may benefit from light exercise instead. Go for a walk, do some yoga, stretching, or something similar. Sometimes I can’t face going to the gym for various reasons and a walk is just what I need to clear my head, stretch my muscles out and get some fresh air. The combination of movement, breathing and a change of scenery can do wonders to give you a physical and mental break before going to bed.
8) Stick to a schedule – pick your bedtime and stick to it, it’s the most obvious addition to a sleep routine but can sometimes be overlooked as we feel a specific bedtime isn’t important. It works for babies so it will work for adults too!
9) Pick an activity that relaxes you – this one is pretty simple – read, listen to an audiobook, relaxing music, have a bath…it’s totally up to you as log as you don’t use a screen. This will give your mind something else to concentrate on before going to bed.
10) CBD – this is something you may or may not want to try depending on your views! It’s been a pretty popular thing across many instagram feeds from your average person to influencers jumping on the bandwagon but I’ve given it a try the last few months. It has been hailed a wonder cure for many things from anxiety, stress, muscle relaxation (I use it to help with my TMJ), depression and possibly cancer. It is thought to be anti inflammatory and help with pain relief, there’s tonnes of research being done on it for a wide variety of issues but I have found it has helped me with relaxing before bed.
I bought mine from Pure Life UK as it’s full spectrum and they have a range of strengths as well dropper and spray options. Feel free to ask me any questions but Google will help more!
If all else fails, don’t lie there worrying about not sleeping! Get up and do something to relax yourself back into a frame of mind where you can go back to sleep. You can also try things like white noise machines and massage to help relax but I haven’t tried these, I am really interested in a light up alarm clock though….I may need to get one to see if it helps me!
How do you make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep? Do you have a favourite scent or product to help you drift off?
Will you be trying anything from this list to change your sleep routine? They’re not just for children any more!