We’ve all been there, lying in bed willing ourselves to sleep. ‘I’ll get exactly 7 hours and 43 minutes if I fall asleep right…now’! Your mind is racing, you’ve gone to get a glass of water for the 7th time and subsequently gone to the toilet for the 5th time. You’ve tried everything and just as you doze off your alarm sounds, before you know it you’re in work, sleep deprived from the night before and drinking coffee by the bucket.
Here are some nighttime routine tips that help me glide into the land of nod.
1: No Electronics Before Bed.
I’m sure you’ve all heard this but no electronic devices at least an hour before bed. The blue light from these devices has an effect on your circadian rhythm and tricks your brain into thinking it’s morning, hence not falling asleep when you’re supposed to.
‘No phone an hour before bed! What will I do instead’? Keep reading for more tips.
I am a self-confessed bookworm and absolutely love my Kindle! If you’re anything like me you will have most of your books on it. Unfortunately Kindles emanate a blue light (see above) it’s always a good idea to have some regular paper books to hand, especially if you’re going through a period of poor sleep. It can seem like a pain to buy books you might already have saved on your Kindle so I find the library the best option as you can change your books every few weeks and the best part is it’s free!
3: A Bath.
A warm bath about an hour before bed always does the trick for me. Epsom salts work wonders for aching muscles, a few drops of your favourite essential oil and a candle will add that extra but of calm to your bath.
Don’t have a bath or don’t have time? A warm shower will do the trick as well as you can ‘wash the day away’ and go to bed with a clear head.
4: Don’t go to Bed Hungry.
If you feel hungry before you go to bed please eat something! Otherwise you’ll find yourself waking at 4am and inhaling half the fridge….or is that just me!? Porridge is my ideal snack before I go to bed. The oats stimulate the release of serotonin which makes you feel relaxed. I like to make porridge with rice milk but any milk is fine. You do you!
5: Don’t drink alcohol before bed.
If your nighttime routine includes a glass or two of red to help get you to sleep cut it out. While alcohol will initially help you drift off faster, the quality of your sleep won’t be very high as you’ll spend more time in the restless REM sleep than deep sleep. I’m not saying you can’t drink alcohol ever again! What I do is not drink any booze Sunday-Thursday while I’m in work and enjoy my alcohol over the weekend when I don’t have to get up as early, have as much responsibility and can afford to have a less-than-perfect sleep.