Do you remember that rhyme as a child?
I still recall it now!
Night night, sleep tight, don't let the bugs bite, if they bite, squeeze them tight and they won't come back another night!
Who ever thought this was enough to send you to sleep?
I would lie awake thinking about where the bugs were! It was enough to give me nightmares!
One the most important things that you can do to make the most from your life is to get a good nights sleep!
How many of us do this?
Do you sleep well or do you feel there is room for improvement?
I have been working on a good night's sleep for myself and my husband for a few years. We are both busy people with busy minds and sleep is really important to help us function properly and enjoy our life - I am sure it is the same for many of you.
It is a well researched fact that at least seven hours of sleep every night is needed to allow your brain to function properly.
This in turn keeps you balanced mentally, without any huge fluctuations in your behaviour, which can cause mood swings.
Research has shown that lack of sleep leaves people vulnerable to attention lapses, reduced cognition, delayed reactions, and irrational behaviour.
If you are constantly not getting enough sleep, you can develop a tolerance to a serious lack of sleep and over time this can become increasingly dangerous.
I have spoken to people recently who tell me they get 4-5 hours sleep a night and are just used to it. This scares me.
If this resonates with you, here is the thing. Your mind will be lulling you into a false sense of security and making you feel like you are coping, you have developed a habit and your body, and your mind, will be suffering, whether you believe it or not.
Even although your brain and your body is struggling, you might not recognise these deficiencies because sleep deprivation feels normal to you!
Lack of sleep can also leave you at higher risk of more serious health issues both physically and mentally. Depriving your body of sleep can cause micro-changes to your vital signs affecting your blood pressure for example, and hormone changes that impact weight gain and your thyroid function.
How much quality sleep are you getting at night?
If you are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep there are some simple lifestyle choices that I would like to share for you to consider, to help you get more shut eye!
Granted, you won't progress from 4 hours to seven hours all at once - you can however work towards this as a goal by putting these choices into practice bit by bit.
Top Tips for Sleep - 1, 2, 3 ,4, .........,Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Establish a realistic bedtime and try to stick to it every night, even on the weekends.
Have a bedtime routine – enjoy getting yourself ready for bed just as much as you enjoy getting yourself ready in the morning. You can use pillow sprays and essential oils, for example diffusing a blend of lavender and camomile, to help create a sleepy ambience.
If you have a busy mind, consider journaling before bedtime – get those thoughts out of your mind and onto paper.
Don’t make your bedroom and your bed too warm – being cosy is lovely however too much heat will cause you to have a restless sleep.
Try turning on your bedside lights and not the “big light” when you are getting ready for bed – low light levels help you to keep that sleepy feeling at bedtime.
Your mattress, pillows and bed covers all contribute to your sleep quality – it might be worthwhile checking that they suit your sleeping position and body type. For example, is one pillow enough, or do you need two (or even your partner may need two!) – do you know a double pillow can help with snoring as it raises the head slightly? You can also get posture pillows, so for example if you wake in the middle of the night with a dead arm, there is a pillow available to buy that will help you reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Consider a “screen ban” on TV’s, computers, tablets, phones and other electronic devices in your bedroom – find an alternative for your alarm – Alexa is a great alternative for example. We use a daylight alarm clock which gradually awakens you to the light of the sun rising - it is highly effective and saves you getting that "jolt of lightening" feeling when the alarm goes off!
If you and your partner are both at home in the evening, try to go to bed at the same time with the same routine - this means you are not interrupting each other's sleep, which you are doing when you go to bed at different times, even if you don't feel like you are.
If you have children old enough to read the time on the clock, try using rewards to keep them from getting out of bed too early and interrupting your sleep.
Although in winter, we have darker mornings or evenings, blackout blinds or blackout linings on your curtains are a great way to cut out light coming in from outside during the lighter months.
Try not to drink caffeine or alcohol and eat large meals in the hours leading up to bedtime. All of these things have a great impact on your sleep – you might think that a glass or two of wine or a couple of drams helps you sleep, the effects are quite the opposite.
Cosy drinks light night-time tea or cocoa can be useful if you want to have something to drink before bed.
Smoking is not conducive to a good night’s sleep – consider giving this up if you can especially closer to bedtime.
Exercise during the day, even going for a good walk, can help you wind down in the evening.
Get a regular massage. Regular is as often as you can afford. Just getting into a pattern is helpful, Massage helps to reduce stress, improve circulation, release tension, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and possibly even strengthen the immune system. These relaxing effects may then make massage a helpful aid in restoring restful sleep.
Many people go to bed and lie worrying about things going on in their life and in the life of others. Try to keep in mind that no amount of worry will change any potential outcome. It will however stop you from having a good nights’ sleep. If you are suffering from anxiety due to worry then you may need to visit your GP to discuss this further.
Finally, manifest a good night’s sleep- think about being sleeping when you go to bed, and how you will feel in the morning after a great nights sleep, allowing this to take over anything else that may be turning round in your brain.
Of course, women living through the menopause can also struggle with sleep due to night sweats and depressive thoughts to just name a couple of side effects - regular massage and baths with clary sage, geranium and lavender can be highly effective.
Being an experienced aromatherapist and holistic therapist trained in massage, as well as having lived through the menopause, I have the knowledge and understanding to help women improve their sleep during this stage of their lives.
Cruising to Snoozing
These are some pretty effective and yet simple steps that you can take to improve your sleep pattern.
I cannot recommend a good nights sleep enough to getting the very best from your life.
It has been a game changer for myself and my husband - only 7 years ago we were existing on 5-6 hours sleep a night - We now enjoy a great nights sleep, being in bed and asleep by around about 10:30pm and awake at 6am to make the most of the day, alert and ready to take on the world, with a coffee chaser of course!
Try to put some of these tips into practice to get the most out of your hours in bed each night - it could be one of the greatest things you ever do for yourself.
If you would like to have a no obligation chat about aromatherapy solutions bespoke to your needs, including blends, buying oils or booking your very own aromatherapy massage, you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would like to buy your own high quality aromatherapy supplies or book a massage then you can buy and book from my website www.fionadalziel.com
Thank you for reading my ramblings and I hope you have found them useful, and that you get a great night's sleep!
Love and light,