Did you getting a good nights sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet? Plus, it is important for not just your physical health but your mental health too. And, lets face it, who likes feeling groggy and run down everyday? But with so many of us living such busy lives and being constantly distracted by so many things, it becomes harder and harder for us to wind down and have a decent nights sleep.
Sleep is something I have struggled with for years but I finally think I have my routine (pretty much) perfected. So here are my top tips for having a good nights sleep.
Have a bath
Because what is more relaxing than a soak in the bath? I don’t always have time for one but even a shower in the evening I find helps. Plus I really enjoy getting in to bed feeling clean and fresh. Showering or bathing before bed has even been proven to provide you with a deeper sleep too.
If I have lots of time I sometimes light candles and put on a face mask whilst I’m at it for some extra pampering. Making time for a bit of pampering each day, even if it is very small, makes a big difference to how I feel.
Tidy and prepare your space
A key aspect of being able to sleep well is relaxing, can you really do that in a messy room? Your room should bring you peace and tranquility. Having an untidy space has been scientifically proven to affect your stress and anxiety levels therefore, before I go to bed I like to make sure my room is tidy and the bed is made ready for me to get into. I really agree with the saying ‘a tidy room is a tidy mind.’ Did anyone else’s mum used to say that to them?
Your room also shouldn’t be too hot to sleep in. A study has shown if your room is too hot it can be more disruptive to your sleep as a loud noise outside. I sleep better in a cold room because it feels cosier. Even in the middle of winter I tend to have my windows open. Find out what temperature works for you by experimenting.
If I had to pick one tip only for getting you off to sleep well it would be reading. Because I spent most of my day staring at a screen and processing information, I find it really hard to switch off in the evening.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, reading helps with preparing your body for sleep and aids to relieve your feelings of stress from the day.
I usually read until my eyes pretty much won’t stay open, which is between half an hour to an hour. I also find reading helps me to stay asleep longer during the night and not wake up as much.
Could I actually rave about journalling anymore? Yes. I feel like journaling gets mentioned in 90% of my blog posts but for a good reason. I usually journal throughout the day but I find it a particularly beneficial to do so before bed. Any worries or stresses I have about the day I write down and it almost feels like the journal takes half the load. I also make a vague note of anything I remember I need to do the following day too, which also helps me to relax and clear my mind.
Some great ones I would recommend are from Moleskin because they have a pocket at the back you can put extra things in to. They are also pretty hardy which I love because I always take mine with me when i’m travelling.
Avoid caffeinated drinks before bed
My cut off point is around 5pm but I know caffeine effects people differently. Experiment with times and find out what works best for you. Having coffee before bed can also cause disruptions in your sleep resulting in not getting a deep enough sleep to feel rested. A great drink to swap it for is a herbal tea or a warm glass of milk.
Avoid screens an hour before you want to sleep
I try to make my curfew time for screens around 9pm because I find being on a screen right before bed massively impacts my ability to have a good nights sleep. This is because the blue light on screens actually reduces a chemical called melatonin which tricks your brain into thinking it is still daytime and therefore can make getting to sleep more of a struggle. By cutting your screen time altogether before bed it helps you to get to sleep earlier and experience a deeper sleep. Before I go to bed I also put my phone on night mode so that I am not tempted to glance at my notifications.
Avoid exercising right before going to sleep
Exercising during the day has been proven to drastically help with sleep, however doing it just before you go to bed can make it harder to wind down. Exercising increases adrenaline and makes you feel more alert therefore be sure to not do anything too intense right before bed.
Though there types of stretching exercises you can do that will help you to relax and prepare you for a deep sleep.
Getting to bed at a similar time each night will help set your internal clock and your body will become used to winding down and going to sleep at a regular time. I find an earlier wake up and an earlier night sleeps works better for me just because mornings are when I feel most productive.
I really hope these have been useful tips in helping you to get a better nights sleep. What kind of routine do you have in the preparation for a good sleep?