How to get a better night’s sleep
Updated: Mar 23
Today, Friday 13th March 2020, is World Sleep Day. Having moved from London to the country a few years back I thought I would fall into perfect sleep patterns due to the lack of aeroplanes, trains and cars. That did not happen, and although I do struggle from time to time, when I follow these steps I do find myself being able to get more shut-eye.
Twinings Sleep Tea. I swear by it! Other brands are available of course, but I’ve tried a fair few and I do not feel any is as good as this brand. Everyone is different, this is just what works for me. I'll usually have this around 30minutes before heading to bed, or just before.
There is nothing like a hot bath to soothe away my daily worries and help me to nod off at night, here's the recipe for my perfect bath:
Warm water - tested with wrist
Magnesium salts (I buy these from Amazon)
Two candles lit in a safe place ;)
My favourite book
Relaxing music in the background
A small glass of water or sleepy tea
Optional cat to sit on the side of the tub :D
At least 2 hours before going to bed, try reading a book before turning off the lights. Especially if you are the type to watch TV in the evenings. Any devices before bed delay your body's internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), suppressing the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and making it more difficult to fall asleep.
Avoid all caffeinated teas, coffee after 4 pm. Caffeine can stay in your body for hours after drinking your last cup, see what works for you. You may find cutting it out even earlier may help. One study found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour. These effects also can be stronger in older adults.
Avoid eating too late
Eating my last meal after 8 pm causes me to feel uncomfortable when I aim to nod off at my usual time of 10-11 pm. I do my best to eat before 7 pm but sometimes that’s not possible, so I make sure its a strict 8 pm latest, sometimes it doesn't happen and I do notice the difference. If you must eat, make it a light/healthy snack.
Sleeping aids, creams, sprays and ointments
Many companies have promised you a good night's sleep with tablets, creams, sprays etc. Where some aren’t particularly bad for you, check what's on the label and read instructions carefully, they can also become expensive so do your research first. I would avoid medication unless recommended by a doctor, but even then I'm not too sure on other health implications.
I recommend natural scents and creams if available. I've been using Lush Sleep Body Lotion on and off for a few years and I only use it if I really feel I need it. I also have a little bottle of Goodnight Pillow Mist, which I spray over my bed.
For that added treat: Neal's Yard have the most amazing Beauty Sleep Concentrate which is a lightweight serum helps to support your skin's natural night-time regeneration while you sleep. With a smoothing tripeptide and a calming blend of essential oils, it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so you can wake up beautiful every day.
Stress vs meditation
Stress is renowned for keeping us up at all hours of the night. There isn’t much you can do about this if you’re stressing and have genuine worries - however, there are so many apps and tracks you can listen now, which can help you switch off and change your mindset into thinking about other things. Try it, give it a go- what have you got to lose?
I can’t stress enough how we are all made differently, so one thing which may work for one person may not necessarily work for another. We all carry different levels of stresses and health issues which can cause different implications to our sleeping habits. If it causes huge issues in your life and working with these remedies does not help, then I would suggest that seeing your doctor is the best solution.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the best remedies for you and if you have trouble sleeping, or if you have any questions.