Perfect sleep tips
Getting enough good quality sleep is so important for physical health and mental well-being. For many of us though, it can be difficult to get enough sleep. Perhaps you have had a period of stress and got into a habit of waking up too early with a head full of worries? Perhaps you wake up each morning feeling tired, feeling that the quality of your sleep was inadequate? I want to help guide you to achieve much better sleep, so take any steps you need after reading through this article and see how much better you can sleep.
A good routine will help you to be mentally and physically ready to sleep. If you are quite inactive, do make sure you get some exercise and fresh air each day. This will mean you will be better able to sleep at night.
Have a time in mind when you would like to be asleep, and begin to wind down your activities 60-90 minutes before this ideal sleeping time. So ideally you should be relaxing, mentally preparing to go to bed. Avoid stressful things close to bedtime like watching the news or discussing difficult or stress inducing subjects. Each evening ideally will be similar in terms of winding down and avoiding stress.
The right space
Take a look at your bedroom. This room should be comfortable, clean and very, very tidy. Perhaps there are ways in which you can improve it? Are there things in your room which are triggers for stress, such as clutter, work items or paperwork? Make the necessary improvements. Make your bedroom a great place to relax and sleep. If you can, make it so nice that you look forward to getting into bed. Consider what changes and improvements you could make. Is your bed comfortable, and are your pillows, sheets and quilt/blankets just right?
Keep cosy in winter
When it is very cold it can be more enjoyable going to bed and getting cosy. Perhaps an electric blanket is set to warm it up before you get in? Dim lights and a comfortable atmosphere help you prepare to sleep.
Keep cool in summer
When it is very hot at night it is more difficult to sleep, especially if you do not have air conditioning. There are things you can do that will help you to sleep well though, even without air conditioning. If you can, open the windows and air the room. Get blackout curtains if possible, as this will help you sleep when it is still light and will reduce the heat coming from the windows. When it is very hot perhaps keep the curtains closed all day, to keep the room cooler.
Cotton sheets and perhaps a blanket or summer quilt, perhaps a cooling pillow. When it is very hot you can fill a hot water bottle to half way full and freeze it. When you go to bed wrap it in a towel and use it to keep you cool. A spray bottle of water can be kept at the side of the bed so if you wake up in the night really hot you can lightly spray cool water over yourself, it’s a great way to cool down fast.
A fan can help and can be made even more effective by placing a frozen bottle or water or a tray of ice in front of it. This cools down the air nicely.
Keeping your mind relaxed
For some people just as you put your head on the pillow stressful thoughts pop up and sabotage your effort to relax and sleep. Try keeping a notepad and pen by the bed so that if you think of something and you are concerned you might forget, you can make a note of it. Any other thoughts you find bothering you, try to say to yourself in your mind “ I don’t need to think about that right now”. If you can, think of something boring, such as a list of chores or think through an exercise routine, something that has little or no emotional effect upon you.
If you wake up
Many of us wake up to go to the bathroom or have a drink of water. So do this and try not to fully ”wake up”, try to keep your mind blank. If a worry pops up in your head you tell yourself “no need to think about that right now”. Do not look at your phone, do not talk, just go straight back to bed and close your eyes. If thoughts persist, repeat the phrase as now is not the time to think about things. Now is the time to sleep. With practice you can break the little habits that keep your from sleeping well. You can become better at going to sleep in an easy effortless way. Keeping your mind empty if you wake in the night is very important and you can get better at this. Don’t worry if it takes a little time to make these changes.
Snoring, house noises, traffic, the weather. If you are bothered by noises on a regular basis, earplugs are a must. Earplugs have moved on these days – if you are of a certain age you may instantly think of hard disgusting wax earplugs that look and feel horrible. Forget those! You can get soft foam ones which are so comfortable you can lie on your side with your ear on the pillow and not feel the earplug. They are very effective and if noise disturbs your sleep, they will help.
Hypnosis and meditation
It may be that making practical changes is all you need to improve your sleep. However if you need help with physically relaxing, making your mind blank and controlling your thoughts, hypnosis or meditation would probably be of benefit. Some of our hypnosis tracks are designed to be used when you go to bed and then you go straight to sleep afterwards.
Things that won’t help
You may feel that drinking alcohol will help you sleep. Whilst it does initially relax you, it also causes dehydration. Do not rely on alcohol to help you sleep as the sleep you get is likely to be of much lower quality than without alcohol. If you use sleeping tablets please consult with your doctor before stopping them.
written by Rachael Eccles. 18.03.2019