Sunday 7 February 2016

5 Tips On How To Get A Good Nights Sleep

OK, OK, I know everyone actually goes to sleep, but the difference in just sleeping and having a good nights sleep is huge, and I'm so glad I've got myself back into good habits again, as not getting a good nights sleep is one of the most disruptive things ever!

Now don't get me wrong, I love getting into bed, laying down and knowing that there is absolutely nothing else I should be doing at that moment, but sometimes it can be hard to switch off, which is the difference between getting an average and a good nights sleep.

Everyone knows the difference of these two right? One leaves you hankering to go back to sleep when you wake up, and the other sees you wake up naturally, around the time you should and feel ready to tackle the day. Obviously one of the main factors is how much sleep you get, but everyone is different intuit respect and aside from that it's about preparing your body for sleep, which is something as adults we're not overly good at. 

Still, you have to start somewhere right? I had some bad habits that I've tried to kick since the new year and although it took a bit of weaning, I think I've finally figured out a routine that works for me, and safe to say I've been sleeping so much better and have already noted a marked improvement in my general mood which I'm really happy about (I think Dan is too).

By now you all generally realise I like to get myself into routines, not ones I follow every day as of course things come up, but if I'm home of an evening, then why not. So here's how I've been able to get myself into a routine of having good nights sleeps: 

Make myself tired
It goes without saying, if you're not tired you'll find it hard to sleep, but you'll know when you hit that sweet spot when you feel like all you can muster is closing your eyes. Working out is obviously a big part of that, as the physical exertion definitely tires you out, but so does busying yourself with other things. Coming home from a hard day, cooking dinner and then tidying up the kitchen, whatever it is, you'll know what tires you out, so ensure you do it, the more tired you are, the better and deeper nights sleep you'll have. 

Drink my last peppermint* tea at least an hour before I go to bed
This actually takes some backwards planning, as you need to know what time you plan on going to bed, so that you can factor this last cup of tea in. Personally, if I drink it any sooner to going to bed, I will definitely be getting up around 2am busting for a wee, and even though I can navigate there with my eyes closed, it's still a disruption to my sleep. I don't know if anyone else does this either, but if I wake up needing a wee, I always have to check the time as if its too soon to my alarm getting off I daren't get out of bed, that last hour is far too precious. 
*It's usually peppermint, but sometimes it's betterment or red bush, just any tea that doesn't have caffeine in it, as that is a big no-no before bed.

Write in my diary 
I've often got things swimming around my head when I go to bed, things that were/weren't said or done that day and then thinking about what I need to do or what's bothering me, so writing them all down really helps me let go of them. The act of getting into bed, or sitting with my diary on the sofa before bed is quite calming too, and personally it's really helped in setting me on a good pathway to slumberville. 

Get into bed earlier than I need to 
I still faff when I'm in bed, spend more time than I should on Instagram etc, so I also factor those in, and give myself time to do all that, whilst still getting enough hours sleep. I don't set a certain amount of time aside necessarily, but as a rule of thumb, if I'm led on my side scrolling, there is a certain point one of my eyes closes and I start to squint, so I take that as the 'time to switch off' sign. 

Sleep in the dark, with no iPad 
This is the main thing I've been working on this year, and I'm so glad that now when I turn my phone off, I can set it down and go to sleep pretty much straight away. I went through a really long phase (years) where I needed noise and sound in order to go to sleep. It helped distract my mind and gave me something to follow until I actually drifted off. The problem with that was obviously, sometimes you get so into what is on you stay awake listening, and that if you don't turn it off, it can wake you up if you do go to sleep. The other thing was Dan hates sleeping with sound on, so there was always a bit of objection on his part. So, now being able to sleep unaided feels like such an achievement, and I don't want to go back. 

This obviously doesn't factor in those who have real sleep and insomnia problems, and for you guys I feel really sorry, but this is what has worked for me, to allow me to wake up in the morning and not have huge bags around my eyes, and be alert enough to not be so grumpy due to getting up before 6am. Do let me know if you have any other things you do too though, sleep is so important I'm really keen to start getting the best nights sleep I can.

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