Like a lot of my friends and family I have had periods in my life where I've found it really hard to fall asleep, and to stay asleep. Sleep is so precious and makes a huge difference to how we feel. Over the years I've tried so many different things to help me sleep soundly and I wanted to share some with you.
I live in London at the moment so at night light can stream in through the window from flickering street lights and the occasional siren. This was quickly remedied by buying some blackout curtains that could be hooked onto our existing curtains. I also make sure I don't have any light from screens in by bedroom, and always block out any pesky noise with earplugs. As our room is so dark in the mornings we can't be without my Lumie Alarm Clock. I'm well aware that this isn't a particularly attractive alarm clock but waking up to my bedroom gradually lighting up in the morning is simply lovely.
I absolutely love lavender and it helps me to feel super chilled. All the products I use in the evening tend to have lavender in them so I can say goodbye to the days stresses, and hello to a wonderful nights sleep. I'm currently a tiny bit obsessed with my Neom Daily De-Stress, Face, Body and Hair Oil. I massage this in after an long bath and immediately feel ready to curl up in bed. I also use Tisserand's Sweet Dreams Aromatherapy roller ball to help me drift off. There's so many products available that contain lavender so it might be worth you getting your hands on some pillow mist, a gorgeous candle or some bath oil.
I first read about the benefits of magnesium for sleep in a Huffington Post Article . If I'm going through a stage of not sleeping well then I will supplement my diet with Magnesium Citrate. in the evening. Whether or not it's a placebo effect it seems to work really well for me, and I wake feeling rested and refreshed.
Around an hour before I go to bed I switch off my phone, close down my social media, and turn the TV off. Research has show that the blue light emitted from devices screens suppress melatonin, which is a really important sleep hormone. I know its tempting to watch something on the television or YouTube to help you switch off before bed but it really is best to avoid light from screens.
The best way that I find to switch off is to read a really good book, ideally something that takes you to a place that's very different from your everyday life so you can really get into the story and forget about our own worries. At the moment I'm reading the beautifully written Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed.
Even if you rent a place that comes fully furnished there are ways to improve a lumpy bed. I purchased a mattress topper from John Lewis, which makes me feel like I'm sleeping on a cloud. It's also worth investing in some comfortable pillows which, suit your sleeping style and are firm enough. There's also nothing nicer than freshly washed one hundred percent cotton sheets. I know new bedding can seem really pricey but you spend around 35% of your lifetime in bed so it might be worth the investment.
This is probably the one I find most difficult but it's the thing that makes the most difference. If at all possible try to wake up at the same time every morning even on weekend. I love to sleep in as much as the next person but as soon as I get myself out of a routine my body gets confused and I find it harder to fall asleep at night. I also find its best to avoid naps for the same reason. I know this sounds awful but it might be worth giving it a go and hopefully it will help you. Perhaps set yourself the challenge of doing this for 10 days in a row, which means you'll have to get up early on the weekend too.
It may sound obvious but I sleep so much better if I've done something like going for a run to physically tire me out during the day. Its really important to time your exercise well and to do any vigorous activity at least 3 hours before you go to bed as exercise can make you feel more alert, and you obviously don't want that! Gentle yoga or stretching before bed shouldn't be a problem and should help you to feel more relaxed.
If anyone has any recommendations on how they get a good nights sleep I really would appreciate you letting me know in the comments.
Wishing you all the sweetest of dreams.