Hands up if you love sleep! Yup, me too! Which is why I found it frustrating (and a little ironic) that after a year of travelling; sleeping in tents and hostel dorms (often on what felt like stone slabs!) that I was really struggling to get a good niht’s sleep in my own bed at home! But, instead of buying a new industrial strength under eye concealer and a coffee machine, I decided to tackle the problem head on!
Of course, an upgrade to a king size memory foam mattress, with orthopedic pillows and a new duvet would be ideal, but it’s January and I certainly don’t have the money for that! Altrnatively, I have put together a slightly more purse friendly guide for a better night’s sleep.
Sleep appeal. Make your bed as appealing as possible. No one wants to get into a cold, unmade bed with shabby bedding! See your bed as an investment and if (by some miracle!) you have some post-Christmas cash to burn, treat yourself to a new quilt or even just a fresh set of sheets to get your bed looking irresistible.
Many a time I have felt a pang of bedtime dread upon realising I’ve left a damp towel or the contents of my make up bag on my bed before flying out the door earlier that day (probably in a vain attempt not to be late for pretty much any event I have scribbled into my diary.) Instead, I now make my bed every morning and ensure that it’s always free from clutter so that it’s ready and waiting for me when I get home in the evening.
Warm feet, better sleep. Scientific studies have shown that by keeping your feet warm, you really can improve your chances of a better nights sleep.
In light of this information I popped into H&M and picked up some super cute, super warm, wool blend socks (as if I needed an excuse!) and I definitely feel like I drift off to sleep more easily with toasty toes!
Teatime. The tea aisle in any supermarket can be a pretty bewildering place, especially when you’re faced with various brands and blends promising to invigorate, stimulate, detox, and even improve sleep. As a basic guide, look out for anything containing chamomile, lavender or valerian root (or anything which says ‘bedtime,’ or ‘sleep’ is usually a pretty safe bet!) Peppermint tea is also a great choice as it helps to relieve stress and soothes tummy troubles if you’ve eaten a bit too much before bed (a familiar feeling!)
Exercise. It seems that exercise is the answer to just about everything, and I certainly feel like I sleep better after a good workout or any kind of outdoor activity. No matter the weather, it’s also important to get outside to get enough exposure to natural light in order to keep your body clock in sync.
Journal. If your mind is full of anxieties and mental to-do lists, or if you simply just have too many thoughts bouncing around inside your head, it can be really helpful to dump them into a diary before going to sleep. By scribbling your ideas, plans or worries into a personal notebook, you can literally clear out your mind and allow yourself to fully switch off.
Lose the light. ‘Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the eye to parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide-awake. Too much light, right before bedtime may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.’ – Sleep Foundation
Try to keep your room dimly lit just before getting into bed (not a problem with my current candle collection… I think it’s on the verge of being considered a fire hazard!) and try to block out any light from street lamps and traffic, using opaque curtains or blinds… and whatever you do, don’t fall asleep with the TV on!!
Switch off from technology. By abstaining from technology for at least an hour before going to bed you allow your brain to start shutting down. With the above information in mind, it makes sense that staring at a bright phone, laptop or TV screen will impede your chances of drifting off… and of course if you’re doing a bit of midnight browsing on the Topshop website your head will be far too full of lusty thoughts to ever fall asleep!
This Works – Deep Sleep. I gave into the hype and finally purchased a bottle of the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray by This Works and I’m so pleased that I did! For a start it smells amazing, and while this isn’t a miracle cure for insomnia or anything so bold, when used in addition to a healthy daily routine, this spray really helps you to drift off effortlessly. I spritz my pillows a minute or two before I get into bed and it really helps to calm the tiresome chatterbox in my mind and I often feel like I’m virtually asleep before my head hits the pillow.
And if all else fails…
Bubblebath. Baths are one of my personal favourite ways to relax before bed. Be sure to pop into Lush and grab something fizzy or sparkly (and of course cruelty free!) to add a little magic to your tub!
Are you getting your beauty sleep or have you entered 2015 with a caffeine fuelled bang?