One of the biggest problems facing a lot of people at the moment is an inability to sleep at night. Many of us sleepwalk and daydream our way through our working lives but when we finally get into bed at night we have a lot of issues actually falling asleep. Here are some tips on how to improve...
If you haven’t redecorated your room in a while, now might be the time to do it – pale blue or grey are restful colours and might help you fall asleep. If you’re getting woken up by light coming in through the window every morning then you could consider buying black out blinds. There are also soundproof blinds if you’re woken up by people in the street, or your next door neighbour revving up his car before he leaves for work. It’s important to make sure that your room is a restful place and you only use your bed for sleeping and sex. If you’re a freelancer and you work from home, try to resist from the temptation to use your laptop and work in bed. That means that your body will associate your bedroom and more specifically your bed with work, so you’ll find it a lot harder to switch off at night. Finally, make sure that you remove all electrical devices from the room, as their lights could disturb your sleep.
If your bed isn’t comfortable, then it’s probably keeping you awake at night. If you wake up with a sore neck and back in the mornings, try purchasing new pillows or a mattress topper if yours is a little worn out. New sheets are always a great call – if you get hot at night, there’s a material called tencel that feels like satin and helps to wick moisture from your skin. If the heat really is too much for you at night, try a quiet air conditioner so you can choose your optimum temperature.
If you don’t have much of a bedtime routine, that could be keeping you awake. Try to make yourself unwind before you go to bed. Make sure you switch off all electronic devices at least an hour before you want to fall asleep – the blue light that emanates from them might confuse your brain and keep you awake. Take a long, leisurely shower or bath in pleasantly warm water, with lavender scented shower gel or with a relaxing candle burning, and pamper yourself a little before you get into bed by taking off your makeup carefully and applying body lotion to your skin. Before you go to sleep, drink some sleepy time tea or some decaf normal tea, and read a chapter of your book. Having a routine set in place will make it much easier for you to drop off to sleep in the future because your body will know what’s coming so your mind will start to wind down.
Something that none of us particularly like to discuss with anyone is the fact that a lot of the time, if you’re sharing a bed with your partner, they keep you awake. It feels somehow unloving to admit that, and of course we do want them there – but there’s nothing more infuriating than their even breathing when you’re struggling to get to sleep, let alone their snoring! If you’re having problems with your partner waking you up, remember that it isn’t a bad thing to retreat to your spare room for a couple of nights of uninterrupted sleep every week. If you have kids, they may be waking you up as well. Obviously you can’t help a young baby waking, but try co-sleeping so you can nurse them back to sleep in your own bed. If your kids are a little older and insist on getting into bed with you at night, it’s time to stop that habit. Gently return them to bed every time they get up, and they’ll get the hang of their new sleeping arrangements in no time.
The Mental State
If you’ve tried a number of different tips to help you fall asleep and none of them are working, it might be time to talk to your doctor as you may be suffering from insomnia. This can have a lot of bad mental effects on you, like depression and anxiety, alongside physical effects like dizziness, headaches and fatigue. Quite simply, the body cannot cope without a certain amount of sleep – this will be different for every person, but you need to know and keep to your limits. Good luck, and sleep tight!