There are several factors that can cause you to have a restless night sleep. Your behaviour and bad routines can contribute to bad sleep and insomnia. The benefits of getting good sleep are immense.
Good sleep hygiene revolves around behaviour you do during the day, behaviour as you are going to bed and behaviour while you’re asleep.
Actions to take During the Day for Better Sleep
- Reduce caffeine intake past 5pm.
- Drinking enough water.
- Doing some exercise
- Getting the right vitamins and nutrients
- Going to sleep and waking up at the same time, even at weekends. I admit I am not particularly good at this, especially when it comes to maintaining a social life!
- Create a relaxing environment for sleep: dim your lights, make a chamomile tea, read a book, use essential oils and pillow sprays.
- Avoid screen time an hour before bed and use a blue light filter on your devices.
- Increase your melatonin (the hormone that induces sleep) using melatonin supplements (please consult your doctor before trying).
- Try sleep meditation or sleep sounds to help you relax and get sleepy.
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- Ensure your environment remains dark, use blackout curtains, if this is not possible, try a sleep mask.
- Your room should not be too warm, open a window, use cotton or linen sheets and pyjamas to remain cool enough.
- Be comfortable: your pyjamas should be loose and breathable, tie your hair up with a silk hair tie to reduce your hair pulling out.
- Reduce sounds: if your partner snores, you could ask them to try breathing strips or you can try ear plugs.
Finding What Works For You
From the age of 16 – 26 I struggled with insomnia. I had some very bad habits and was struggling with anxiety and OCD very badly. I would spend hours awake in bed ruminating on the same thoughts over and over again. I used to fall asleep watching documentaries on my laptop on my bed, it was the only thing I knew how to do to quiet my mind. The two things that really helped me in the end was mindfulness, using guided meditations and sleep sounds and reducing screen time before bed. I’ll leave some good meditation resources at the end of this post.
My sleep had improved immensely, but due to my previous job and the terrible shift patterns, my sleep has worsened over time again. I have been persistent with implementing all the following changes into my routine and now I actually look forward to going to bed, I even get 8 hours most nights.
The Benefits of Great Sleep
- I have more control over my mental health; I have stronger emotional stability and have fewer “bad days”.
- I am more able to focus on tasks.
- I have more energy to socialize, to write for this blog and to exercise.
- It stops me from binge eating because my energy levels are better and I have the energy to prepare better food.
- My skin is better, and dark circles around my eyes have reduced.
- Ultimately, I feel happier and more in control of my life.
If you have any more tips, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear what your sleep routine looks like.