Create A Routine
This can be anything relaxing but aim for it to be the same every evening so that your body starts to get into a rhythm of knowing when you have your bath, or hot cocoa that it’s nearly time for bed. It takes the stress out of having to make decisions in the evening and also helps to wind you down.
As part of your routine aim to go to bed and to rise at the same times every day. We are resetting our sleep hygiene when we do this and connecting to our body clock too.
Have a restful sleep environment. Keep the bedroom for sex and sleep where possible. If you need to work from this room, try and find a separate area, and not on the bed, we want to associate the bedroom with rest and sleep primarily.
Make it easy to sleep, our circadian rhythm, or internal clock is guided by the amount of light we get. So have a dark room for sleep, this can be created by blackout curtains, or by investing in an eye mask to block out the light.
Similarly, we need a quiet space for sleeping, so investing in ear plugs, or even removing distractions can really help – if sleeping in shifts letting people know when you are available and when you are sleeping so as not to be interrupted.
Be mindful of the foods you are eating before bed. Too much in quantity or spice and you might find indigestion or sugar peaks and dips keep you awake; too little and you might be waking needing a snack. Eating foods such as cherries, oats, pistachios, salmon, almonds and strawberries are all high in melatonin, which is our sleep hormone and really helps promote sleep for us.
Keep away from your screens at night – the blue light can interrupt our melatonin production and confuse our brains thinking it isn’t actually bedtime – so avoid late night scrolling. Set a time to be off your phone by and make this at least 30 minutes before you want to sleep.
Have a bath or a hot shower. Not only does the hot water soothe tension in our muscles; when we dry off and the water evaporates off our body our body temperature drops, mimicking the natural drop in temperature we experience before we sleep – thus making us sleepy!
It might sound counterproductive but being aware of our exercise can help our sleep. Have high energy, vigorous exercise in the morning to get you going, wake yourself up and kick start your metabolism and then calmer movement in the afternoon. Ideally don’t exercise in the 2-3 hours before bed as this will impact on you to being able to fall asleep.
Don’t give up
If you can’t sleep, get out of bed! It may sound mad, but if you are clock-watching and not sleeping in bed you start to associate bed with anxiety and unrest. If you notice you are awake for more than 30 minutes get up, go sit somewhere else and read, or have a hot milky drink and then come back and try again in a bit. This will get you out of the habit of associating being in bed with not being able to sleep.
So now you have the tools you need for a better sleep,
which one are you going to try today? Leave me a comment below
About The Author
Anna Campkin, a fully qualified life coach and NLP practitioner with Goldster, specialising in confidence and emotion management. She was worked internationally in business coaching as well as with the NHS, charity and wellbeing sectors in the UK and will be leading Goldster’s Healthy Sleep Programme. The classes will run from the 26th September 2022 – 16th October 2022 created to help people get a better sleep routine using non-drug interventions via a live and interactive method.