It’s not always easy to switch off from the world and go to sleep when we need to, with things like our smart phones and tasks for the next day taking our full attention from anything but going to sleep. From someone who use to have terrible sleep from anxiety and had to resort to anxiety and insomnia medication to help improve their sleep, I am fully aware of just how frustrating and unhealthy it can be to try get a good night’s sleep each night and fail miserably.
Everyone knows that sleep is super important and has many health benefits, like helping us to function properly, gives us the ability to learn new things and solve problems more effectively, it helps to strengthen the immune system and helps us to heal and repair. That’s why in today’s post I want to share with you 10 good habits you can use to get a better night’s sleep and maintain it.
1. Turn off technology – We all know this is one we should all be doing more of, but we also all know that it is difficult to close that laptop lid down and switch our phones off, when all we really want to do is continue scrolling. But if we all did this a lot more, we would see all see a huge difference to the way in which we fall asleep and how long we stay asleep for. So instead, try switching off your phone or leaving it on the other side of the room half an hour before you plan on going to sleep. This gives you a good amount of time to notify your brain that its time to unwind and prepare itself to go to sleep. Your phone will be still be there in the morning, along with all your followers on Twitter and the videos in your subscription box on Youtube that you still need to watch.
2. Get into a good routine that actually works – You’ll probably have a bedtime routine you follow every single night without much fail. It might be only small or it might be quite a lengthy one. But as long as it actually works and it’s a healthy one then keep at it. Once you’ve put your phone away, get changed into your sleep attire, go do your skincare routine and clean those teeth of yours, get into bed with a book or a notebook, do something you find relaxing and unwind for the night until you feel yourself start to get sleepy.
3. Do some wind down activities – This plays a huge part in a good bedtime routine. There are plenty of wind down activities you can do to help relax you and get yourself in the right state to then go to sleep. Activities should include things like meditation, listening to an audiobook, reading a novel or nonfiction text, colouring in, knitting, journalling or even just some simple stretching.
4. Carry out your skincare routine – Taking care of our skin is just as important as maintaining a healthy sleep pattern. It can also be included within your bedtime routine or even be used as a wind down activity. Ensure you remove any makeup off you’ve worn throughout the day properly, I like to use the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish to remove mine. This feels so light yet creamy on my skin and once cleansed it leaves my skin feeling so smooth and fresh. When you finished cleaning, follow up with any other skincare products you love to use like moisturiser, a tone, a night cream or an oil.
5. Stick to the same time each night – Now you’ve mastered what’s involved in your routine, the next thing to do is figure out when you’re going to go to sleep each night. Choose a time that is going to work best for you and ensures you get enough sleep in relation to when you need to get up the next day. Young adults between 18 and 25 should aim for around 7-9 hours each night. So if you have to be up for work at 6am, then going to bed around 10pm will ensure you achieve the right amount of sleep. Now you need to stick with this and train your body to know when to go to sleep. If you’re always changing the time, your body will never know when it needs to unwind or when it needs to be awake. So it’s best to get yourself into a good routine and go to bed roughly around the same time each night.
6. No sleeping in – Following on from my previous point, the same thing applies to when you wake up and get up in the morning. Getting up at different times each day or at different times on weekends or holidays can also confuse our brains. Of course, treat yourself to a lay in when you deserve it, such as when you’re poorly and when you need to catch up on the extra sleep after feeling run down or distressed, but don’t always do it and mess up your body clock. Keep in that pattern.
7. Avoid napping in the day – Whilst naps can be good for you, sometimes they can be the worst. I always find I wake up feeling worse when I nap and for this reason I do my very best to avoid them. Napping also makes your sleep pattern and body clock go out of synch, so it’s best to try not to lap for long and opt for a short power nap for a maximum of 15 minutes or to not to bother at all. You can sleep when it’s time to. Just hold on.
8. Make your room a calm place – If you’re room isn’t a relaxing and peaceful place to go venture to every night, then it’s no wonder you struggle to get to sleep or even manage to achieve a good nights sleep. Make sure your room is dark enough for you to fall asleep. You don’t want bright light coming from any windows or lighting to be keeping you up. Draw back those curtains, close the blinds and turn out the lights. You also want to make sure your room and home are as quiet as possible. Make sure you haven’t left anything on like the TV or that you’re sleeping close to anything noisy within your home (and yes, snoring partners beside you do count). It’s also good to make sure you remove any distractions like your phone, work or tv and keep them separate. This is your time to unwind.
9. Be comfortable – Being uncomfortable at night can also keep you awake. It’s a good idea to change your mattress every eight years to ensure you’re always sleeping with comfort. You might also want to adjust any cushions or pillows on your bed to make it as cosy and comfy as possible. Temperature also might come into play with this if you have too much bedding on top of the bed you could end up overheating and being too stuffy, so ensure you’re the right temperature before you go to sleep or open up a window to let some air in. This is especially important in the summer when it’s boiling hot at night.
10. Be prepared for the next day – You don’t want to get into bed at night and be worrying about the things you still need to do to be ready for the following morning. The best thing to do is get everything that you can ready an hour or two before you start your bedtime routine. This way you’ll avoid having tasks for the night day circling around your head when you’re trying to get to sleep. Write yourself down a to do list of what you need to do/get done tomorrow, make your lunch for work or school the night before, lay out the outfit you’re going to be wearing tomorrow so you don’t have to rush in the morning, get your bag ready and get other small tasks that you can do before you sleep.
What do you do to achieve a better night’s sleep? What do you find helps you the most?
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