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 and we were so far away from that it was really taking it's toll.
I have learned a lot over the years about getting a good night's sleep, and I wanted to share it with you.
My 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 essential oils including lavender and chamomile, 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– 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. I have recently invested in a silk pillowcase – it’s amazing, especially if you are a restless sleeper like me!
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 share your bed with a significant other, and 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 we are starting to move towards darker mornings and 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 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 like night-time tea or cocoa can be useful if you want to have something to drink before bed.
Smoking (and equally vaping) 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 and beyond 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, and now being post-menopausal, 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. Sleep for sure is the best meditation.
It has been a game changer for me - 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!
You can do this too!
Much love, Fiona x