In a dream world (pardon the pun) we would all flop into a soft clean bed, flutter our eyelids and drift away into an uninterrupted and restful slumber. The reality can often be strikingly different. As soon as you try to shut your eyes your mind starts going a mile a minute, you toss and turn and gaze dolefully at the clock -watching the hours tick by. If you do get off to sleep, you wake a thousand times until morning hits and you feel like you have been run over by a truck.
Any style of insomnia is far from fun and often we get ourselves into a vicious cycle when it comes to a poor sleeping experience. We have rounded up a few tried and tested hacks to keep you fresh and rested in the sack…
One of the worst things you can do when failing to get to sleep is to stay in bed and force it. The result will only lead to you becoming more and more frustrated which in turn, reduces any chance of peaceful slumber. If you are struggling to drift off then get out of bed. Go into another room, read a book, drink some soothing tea, do something that isn’t super stimulating until you feel drowsy and tired again. Removing yourself from the insomniac situation gives you a better chance of not physiologically pairing your bed with a place of stress.
We’ve all been in that desperate position where we think knocking back a bottle of wine will help us to bed down, but alcohol and heavy food can have a massive impact on your sleep pattern. Alcohol reduces rapid eye movement and can have an effect on your breathing technique during slumber, both of which can be disruptive during the second half of the night. Of course, we aren’t telling you to skip that beloved glass of dinner wine but when it comes to a nightcap maybe give it a miss or consume at least an hour before bed.
Curating the right sleep environment is also highly beneficial to those wanting a decent night sleep. While you can go all out turning your bed into a palace of perfect slumber make sure that you don’t overlook the simple solution of changing the temperature. If your room is hot and stuffy you will struggle to sleep, but by making the room colder you can keep your body in a lo-fi state and stay wrapped in the comfort of a duvet – both of which are conducive to a relaxed state for sleep.
It’s part of modern culture to have a quick scroll of social media before bed, but you will pay the price. Artificial light truly has a negative impact on your pineal gland, the small pea-shaped gland in your brain which seems to play a major role in regulating sleep patterns. This little gland isn’t a fan of fake light which means it may be time to cast your phone out. if you rely on your phone for an alarm, simply lock it away in a drawer and purchase a cheap alarm clock, or better yet – set the phone alarm and be forced to get out of bed to turn it off.
Stress and heightened anxiety both seem to rear its ugly head right as you switch off the light and climb into bed. Make it part of your shut down routine to scribble all these brain dump anxieties into a notebook before snuggling down. Not only will your brain feel heard and your body feels like some kind of active resolution is taking place but it also helps you to physically put into motion a concrete plan for the day ahead which in turn, will reduce the level of turmoil-based twisting and turning throughout the night.
Do you have trouble sleeping at night? What small routines and hacks do you use to ensure a blissful slumber? Share your thoughts in the comments.