Sleep - I don't know about you but if I don't get my 8 hours the next day is pretty tough. Everything seems that little bit more tricky to navigate. I really believe that sleep is such an important part of a happy, healthy life and yet for many people it just seems so elusive.
Insomnia is a common issue. The NHS say that 1 in 3 people suffer from poor sleep resulting in not only bad moods and a lack of focus but also medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity and The Government has even recently launched a campaign to get people to sleep more.
If you are a good sleeper count yourself lucky but if you are one of the many people struggling with catching your zzz’s, if you find yourself with a racing mind that is keeping you up at night and you really want to learn how to grab those 8 hours, then I want to share my 10 top tips with you here
- Ban all electronic devices from the bedroom. Yes, even your iPhone! Having electronic devices. Light from your devices, as well as the well-known sound of emails or texts or Instagram likes dropping into your inbox is something you can do without when you are trying to sleep. Ban your devices to the kitchen or the lounge and create an electronic free zone.
- Are your mattress and pillows working for or against you? Investing in the right mattress and pillows are vital. Why? Because you spend a third of your life in your bed so it’s well worth the investment. You wouldn’t go for a run in shoes that didn’t fit right so take care of your sleep by having the right ‘equipment’ Be proactive and start creating the right equipment for sleep time.
- Think of yourself just like you would a baby. I know this sounds strange but bear with me. When you put a baby to bed, you create a lovely soothing atmosphere, the lights are low, the room is cool not too hot or too cold, and there are no flashing lights or loud noises. Do the same for yourself. Prepare your room and make it baby ready. Except this is for you.
- Get into a meditative zone, start listening to your breath and focusing on the gap between each breaths. Breathe in deeply for the count of 4 and out for the count of 4 this helps to slow your mind down by focusing on your breath. Alternatively try the ‘squeeze and relax’ where you tighten your body, then relax it and let it go, tighten your body, then relax and let it go. You will find the relaxing part simply becomes more relaxing and help the body to let go into a calmer state.
- Make yourself a nice warm drink. Drinking a glass of warm milk before bed has been proven to help you to sleep better - it's not just an old wives' tale! Dairy products are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps in the production of the sleep inducing brain chemicals, serotonin and melatonin. If you are not keen on milk then there are plenty of wonderful sleep inducing herbal teas around too.
- Worrying? Ask yourself this…what can you do right now, to change whatever it is you want to change? The answer is probably nothing at midnight…so instead get a journal and write it down. Get it out of your head and onto paper. It’s a really useful tool to calm the mind down.
- Take a warm bath or shower. This is a great way to unwind and take the day off. Taking off your clothes and allowing your body to feel warm water will automatically relax you. Drop your shoulders and breathe.
- Visualize. A lot of the hypnosis I use involves visualization. It is a great way to help you get your mind off any worry or stress and into the moment. Try it for yourself by visualizing yourself walking down say, 10 steps into a garden and on every step down you will feel even more relaxed. You can literally visualize yourself to sleep.
- Spray your pillow. There are many calming sprays on the market that work wonders for your sleep. Lavender and Chamomile are a great partnership in a spray helping you rest easy and sleep deeply.
- Go with it. Instead of berating yourself for not being able to sleep or trying to ‘push’ yourself into it, allow it to be what it is and try ‘doing’ something that will help such as reading, meditation or some gentle yoga. Sometimes just going with it, instead of fighting it, can lead to a lovely restful sleep.
I hope these tips help you sleep easy!
Sent with love,
PS this blog was also featured on the lovely people over at Perfectly Paleo's website which is awesome and well worth checking out x