Sleep. As much as I crave it, there are some nights where I just can’t drop off. Do you know what I mean? You toss and turn, maybe worrying about something or thinking of all the things you need to get done the next day. The more you try to switch off, the harder it becomes.
There are things you can do to help sleep find you – these are a few of my top tips:
- Keep a pen and paper by the bed. This can serve a variety of purposes. If you are worried about something, writing it down can be enough to clear it from your head – this works well for kids too. If you have a lot to do the next day, write a list before bed so it is down on paper, ready to be ticked off. If you wake up in the night, try writing down your dreams – it’s fascinating, and you can sometimes see a pattern of dreams when something is on your mind.
- Warm drinks. A warm drink just before bed can really help you to relax, wind down and be ready for sleep. Depending on your tastes, try warm milk, Horlicks or a fruit tea – but avoid caffeine!
- Bath. I love a hot bath. It relaxes all the muscles, relieves tension and puts you in the right frame of mind for rest and sleep.
- Invest in a good mattress. Although it is an outlay, it’s a worthwhile one. Not only does it help you sleep, the right mattress can relieve tension, ease backache and keep you at the right temperature. If you are comfortable, you are bound to rest more easily. Try the range at Sealy – something for everyone, as well as a range of beds and bedding too.
- Screen free time. We are all guilty of taking our laptop or phone to bed with us, right? But it really doesn’t help us switch off. There is a lot of research to suggest that the blue light from these screens actually stimulates, so rather than chilling out, we are actually winding ourselves up. Set a time when all screens are switched off, and head to bed with a book instead.
- Try some essential oils. Lavender and Valerian are great for insomnia – easing tension and inducing relaxation.
If all else fails, don’t lie in bed tossing and turning. Get up for a while and make a warm drink or listen to some soothing music. Sometimes that can be enough to ease you back into bed. Insomnia is usually a brief stage in life, and it won’t be long until you are back to being asleep before your head hits the pillow.