There is nothing more frustrating than being desperate for a good nights sleep and being unable to get one. You hit the pillow but your mind just won't stop, and the harder you try the less likely it feels you will ever slip into that rejuvenating slumber. The good news is that a good sleep routine can provide the key to a quality night’s sleep. Here's what that looks like:
Go to bed and get up at approximately the same time each day, for example down and 10pm and up at 6am.
Avoid alcohol before bed. It might help you get to sleep initially but it won’t help you have a restful, restorative sleep.
Turn off all screens, especially computers and phones, at least one hour before you go to bed. The blue light from screens interferes with melatonin production and will make it harder to get to sleep.
Make your room quiet and dark and comfortable, a space where you feel safe and calm and relaxed. Too much light will interfere with melatonin. Too much noise is annoying!
Keep your bedroom as a separate space for relaxation. Don’t pay your bills there, work or study there. You want your mind to associate this space with non-stressful activities.
If you can’t get to sleep try not to worry about not getting to sleep (difficult I know!). If you are still awake after half an hour, get out of bed, do something relaxing like reading a book for ten or twenty minutes, and then try again.
Relax! Anxiety and sleep are not friends. Some hints for relaxation:
Chamomile or lemon balm tea in the evening is calming and helps give you a good night’s sleep.
Lavender essential oil on your pillow, or misted in your room, assists relaxation.
Mindfulness or meditation - there are a number of websites and You Tube videos and apps offering guided meditations or mindfulness exercises, including:
Apps - Calm; Relax Melodies; Smiling Mind; Headspace; My Calm Beat
You Tube - “Guided Mindfulness Meditation on Sleep” (this will also bring up a number of other similar meditations)
Website - UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Centre
Give the above techniques a go, address the cause of any stress or anxiety, and soon you will be sleeping as well as this little cutie.