Words by: Emily Venables & Viola Levy
If sleep often alludes you, there could be several reasons for it. Stress, consuming negative news and social media before bed, eating or drinking something that’s keeping you alert, being too warm or too cold - you name it, there’s an abundance of reasons why you may not be nodding off!
So, as we head into sleep season, which kicks off on Sunday 30th October with National Sleep In Day (also known as the day the clocks go back and we can enjoy an extra guilt-free hour in bed), we’re looking at ways you can help switch your mind off and enjoy hours of sleep at the end of the day.
Exercise at least once a day
Physical activity – even if it’s ten minutes of walking or cycling a day – can hugely benefit the quality of sleep you’re getting. Exercise reduces stress levels, especially if you’re getting out in nature by going for a walk in your local park. What’s more, aerobic activity raises our body temperature slightly, which then causes it to drop later on in the day. This triggers our brain into entering ‘sleep mode’ making nodding off less of an issue.
Set yourself a weekday bedtime
If you’re working from home, it might be tempting to stay up late and have a little lie-in. But not sticking to the same sleep schedule could disrupt your body clock, causing a mild ‘jetlag’ effect – that means grogginess, tiredness and irritability! To ensure your brain knows that it’s time to go to sleep, make sure bedtime is roughly around the same hour each night.
Swap screen time for pampering time
Instead of spending your evening scrolling through your phone or watching the TV right up until bedtime, try doing something in the evening that relaxes your mind. Step away from your screen and take a soak in the tub with a good book instead!
Try these relaxing bath time must-haves to help lull you into a sleepy state:
Turn your bedroom into a haven of calm!
Make sure your bedroom sanctuary for sleep, free of clutter and one that your brain associates with relaxation – which is why you should NOT be working from your laptop in bed! Scenting your sleep space with ME.’s Tranquil Candle (with relaxing essential oils) or a few spritzes of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray on your bed sheets will also help you drift off.
Cut back on caffeine and alcohol
It’s so easy to just pop the kettle on or have a cheeky glass of wine while you watch TV of an evening – especially if you’re trying to relax. Sadly stimulants like caffeine and alcohol can be really disruptive to your natural sleep cycle. So try and have your last coffee or tea at least eight hours before you go to bed. And while that nightcap might help you fall asleep initially, the alcohol can kick in later on in the night, causing you to be wide-awake at around 3am. A cup of warm milk and honey is a much more effective bedtime drink. (The honey can curb any hunger pangs during the night!)
Scent your home ready for a relaxing night in
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