HOW TO SLEEP WELL
Do you have trouble sleeping? Let me rephrase that: ‘do you have troubles that are stopping you sleeping’ more to the point?
A rested mind helps create a rested body, and without crucial sleep, especially between the hours of 10pm-2am - your & my HEALING TIME, when our body repairs itself the most from the day’s onslaught, we are running ourselves into the ground and simply anticipate ill health as a result.
When I worked at a leading women’s magazine I thought I was so clever being able to burn the candle at both ends (still love a candle though), writing through the night to finish a deadline: I’d tell myself I needed the peace of 4 am with the birds starting to sing to help me perfect my words - sounds good doesn’t it? - and that I was just too busy during ‘normal working hours’. But then today, especially in media, what ARE ‘normal working hours’? The stress of emails and social media that senses where and what you’re doing 24/7 can be relentless. You’re always ‘ON’. It isn’t healthy as we know.
The key is to reintroduce quality time back into our lives. Starting now… World Sleep Day 2019!
Did you know that: '89% of people feel tired when they wake up in the morning'
Feather & Down
We all want a bit more sleep don’t we? A recent survey by sleep brand, Feather & Down, revealed 89% of the UK participants wake up feeling tired and 54% said they currently don’t have a bedtime routine. Fast-paced lives are leaving us exhausted and unable to switch off at night, with many of us struggling to get to sleep. The survey also showed 59% wake between 2 and 4 times a night and 65% struggle to get back to sleep once they’ve woken up during the night. And research from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that lack of sleep has a negative effect on our emotions, costing the UK £40bn in health issues and lost revenue at work.
Until recently I didn’t have much of a bedtime routine either. Mine was fall asleep on the sofa, round about 10pm (when I should have put myself to bed, wake up at 12 or 1am with a dear, frustrated husband who’d been trying to get me “up the stairs to Bedfordshire” for my health) but always wide awake by 5am, when I’d reach straight for my phone and start doing some work. Seriously, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that none of that’s healthy. However, after recently seeing a naturopath to improve my overall health, one of the biggest issues he had with my lifestyle was my erratic sleep. Now, my entire family take one look at me before 10pm and say “Healing Time”… even getting a bit cross if I haven’t made it upstairs to bed before the deadline! This is my kids I’m talking about here!
Guys, it’s SUCH an easy thing for us all to adjust. Maybe not every night - personally I can’t miss out on fun family time EVERY night ‘FOMOFF’ - BUT if 5/7 nights we’re all tucked up in bed by 10…just think how much happier we’ll be…and how much healthier and younger too: skin needs repair as much as our other more vital organs.
HOW TO GET A BETTER SLEEP REGIME
Sleep experts unanimously say we all need to create a calm bedroom environment: calming candles, pillow sprays, mood lighting and the correct bedroom temperature. Absolutely no tech at least an hour before bed (and definitely none at 5am) - switching off devices, no emails and no checking social media (still trying to make my iPhone silent is weirdly tricky, it just always bings even on sound off). Blue light can totally throw your body out of sync by confusing your brain that it’s still daylight hours.
My JOGB bedtime regime
More steps to get you feeling less stressed in general will however help start a better sleep regime: the key is to break your current regime and embrace a new better, calmer environment for sleep.
Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake throughout the day and stay hydrated with 2L or more of filtered water and herbal tea is key.
A relaxing warm bath filled with soothing essential oils (lavender, chamomile and geranium are excellent soothers to the soul and the senses).
Start to unwind with a good book, music or meditation from about 8pm onwards (yes, even those with young children (I’ve been there) - bring their bedtime earlier so yours can) to help you establish the best new routine that suits you. This helps prepare your body, and more crucially your mind, for better, deeper sleep.
Recognise the natural sleep/wake cycle (your circadian rhythm) or body clock that’s designed to regulate when you feel sleepy or wide awake -it’s why we feel most awake during daylight hours. Our body goes through a light to deep to light sleep phase every four hours in the night, making it harder to get back to sleep if you tend to wake in the night, or feel alert after just that amount of time. It’s also why if your alarm consistently wakes you mid ‘deep sleep’ after just 6 or 7 hours say - you will undoubtedly feel more tired as a result.SO… try out a new evening regime: Get fresh air every day, maybe go for an early evening walk ‘round the block’; stick to a consistent sleep schedule - not just going to be by a certain time but also waking at a similar time (I always seem to get a headache after a ‘lie-in’); cat naps are AMAZING so never underestimate a little light siesta if you’re able; and find yourself vital moments of peace: I practice Reiki on myself now if/when I wake in the night and in just three weeks my sleep pattern has changed from 4 hours a night, to eight hours.
Love to hear any tips you can share for those having trouble sleeping (I also rather like 3 Kalms before bed - but I haven’t been taking them since going to bed earlier now! x