Most of us have gone through phases of our lives when we just cannot get to sleep. Getting to sleep and staying asleep is problematic for so many people – some more than others. Sleep is so important to both our physical health and our mental health. Our bodies need this time to process, heal and recharge.
I have gone for months without a decent night’s sleep. I’ve spent night after night tossing, turning and staring at the clock wondering how it could be humanly possible to be so tired yet still awake. It took me a great deal of time to realise that this pattern was what was responsible for my low mood, heightened anxiety and proneness to becoming ill.
After a lot of trial and error and consulting Dr. Internet for the answers, I have finally found what works with me. Surprise, surprise, the steps you can take are so easy and so basic!
Getting yourself into a good routine can reset your body-clock so that you’re falling asleep and waking up at the same time each day. Create a nightly ritual for yourself and do it over and over until your mind begins to recognise that this is the time you need to start winding down and preparing for sleep. I like to set my alarms, go through my nightly beauty regime and then read or right in my journal. I find that journalling really helps me to reflect over the day I have had and set my intentions for the following day so that I am not thinking about these things when my head finally hits the pillow.
#2 Create A Calm Space
Your bedroom must be a place where you feel completely calm and relaxed. How can we expect our mind’s to slow down if we are laying in chaos or mess? I know that I’ll struggle to get to sleep if there are clothes and shoes strewn around the room and makeup across my dressing table. This tip is not about being overly obsessed with cleanliness or tidiness, it’s about creating a space for yourself to totally relax and feel calm as you go off to sleep.
#3 Lights Out
As much as I hate to admit it, my partner is right. It really is best to go to sleep in complete darkness so there is no artificial light to stimulate your mind. I’ve always been the person to leave the hall light on and have my bedroom door open an inch. This doesn’t help. When there is light, your brain thinks it’s time to wake up and when it is dark your brain knows it is time to sleep. Simple!
#4 Use Essential Oils
Essential oils have long been used for their calming qualities and for boosting relaxation. Many people wonder how it could possibly even work but I can certainly vouch for their many therapeutic properties. To explain it basically, when we smell the oils a signal is sent to our brain which then triggers a change in mood and therefore making us feel relaxed. My favourite for sleep is Lavender but their are a few others that are rather popular such as Chamomile, Clary Sage and Sweet Marjoram. You can put a few drops on your pillow or a piece of cloth next to your bed to feel the benefits.
#5 Drink Something Warm
I always used to drink a mug of warm milk before bed to help me sleep. Now, as I no longer eat or drink dairy products, I like to opt for a herbal tea or a warm plant milk. My favourites are chai tea, golden milk or Pukka Night Time.
If you’re struggling with sleep, have a go at these 5 steps and see how they work for you!