Whenever I see my friends looking tired, I really feel for them. I know exactly what it’s like to not get a good night of sleep. You feel yucky with no energy. It’s impossible to focus, and you end up slumped over your desk being generally unproductive. All that comes after just a few hours of missed sleep. If you have ever gone for a few days with limited sleep, you can start to get ill.
I hate it when I’m tossing and turning in bed. I may be too hot, or just not able to get comfortable enough to drop off to sleep. But it starts to wind you up and get on your nerves when you see that it’s been a couple of hours since you turned out the light. It’s happened to me a few times. Sometimes my mind is racing with great ideas for the blog. I know if I don’t just get up and write them down somewhere, I’m not going to get to sleep.
It may seem counterintuitive to get up again once you’re in bed. But sometimes starting your bedtime routine over can work wonders. For all of you with busy minds, pouring out your thoughts in a journal is often enough to quiet that inner voice. Then you can hop back into bed and sleep. This is especially good if you’re worried about tomorrow. Writing down your worries helps you tackle them. You can then rest your mind and feel prepared for the big day.
If you’re tossing and turning because you’re uncomfortable, then you may have to ask yourself if the bed you’re in is no good. One easy test is to sleep somewhere else for the night. If you wake up refreshed in a different bed, then it could be time to replace your one.
Mattresses don’t last forever. If you’ve had yours for many years, it could be time to shop around for a new one. If you’re usually uncomfortable in bed, it could be time to invest in a much better one.
Have a look online for the different kinds of mattresses you can buy. Stores like John Ryan Beds can help you work out which would be best for you. Few people go back to sprung mattresses after they’ve experienced the comfort of memory foam ones. There are many different types too. You might be looking for a latex one if you find you heat up too much in the night. They are more breathable so could suit you well.
Replacing your bed or mattress could be all it takes to help you sleep soundly again. But there are plenty of other things you can do as well to make sure you drift off to sleep every night. Look around your bedroom. If it’s untidy, this can hinder your ability to fall asleep. Make sure everything is in its proper place so you can sleep worry-free. If you’ve had the same decor for a while, try refreshing it for a new look.
Do you have a TV in your room? Falling asleep with the TV on can reduce the quality of your sleep. It is likely to be taking you longer to drift off to sleep as well. Try leaving it switched off for a couple of weeks to see how you get on. Try to avoid other screens like smartphones and tablets. The frequency of the light is thought to interfere with your natural sleep hormones.
I find a rigid sleep routine helps my body and mind calm and quieten so I can fall asleep quickly. Here’s what I do. I start with a warm bath about an hour before lights out. I might read a couple of chapters or even watch some TV (safely). When I get out, I moisturise and brush my teeth. Then I cleanse and tone my face. As soon as I’ve put on my nightwear, I’m already yawning. The heat of the bath has worn off, and I’m much cooler, ready to snuggle down into my duvet. Doing this every night is like a cue for my body and mind to let go of the day and go to sleep.
If you find that you’re going through a bit of a stressful period, then you might be struggling to get to sleep. Staying asleep long enough to feel refreshed is tough too. Meditations, Yoga and other relaxation techniques do help you to cope during these tough times. They help you to focus your mind and relax your muscles. This means you can be comfortable in bed and quieten your thoughts to help you sleep.
Exercise is really important to the sleep process. Fresh air is also a big part of it. This is why I love taking a brisk walk every day. When I haven’t done much or had a lazy day at home, I find it harder to fall asleep. It makes me tired as well! Make sure you’re regularly getting that circulation moving. Fatiguing your body and mind is good for the insomniac. But exhaustion can be counterproductive, so find that happy medium.
What you eat and drink can also affect your sleep. Too much caffeine late in the day can cause too much stimulation to be able to fall asleep easily. It’s worse for girls, especially if you’re on medications like the pill. They are thought to alter your ability to metabolise the caffeine, so have your last Coke or coffee by 3 pm.
Sugary foods make dramatic changes in your blood sugar level so try to avoid these in the evening too. For some, cheesy foods can cause nightmares or migraines so don’t overdo the pizzas at night. Pasta and lean meats are thought to be quite good for evening meals as they release their energy slower.
I love sleeping, and I love my bed, but I still occasionally find it hard to sleep well. For me, keeping up with a good bedtime routine, and replacing my bed has been the best thing for good sleep. We’ll all have off nights, but if you are really struggling after a few days, it may be best to see your doctor. Sleep well.