Once you get to a certain point in life you have two favourite conversations; the weather and how much or how little you're sleeping. And sleep, you might think is something that should come naturally to all of us but sadly for so many, it's a real issue. I've struggled with my sleep a lot over the past year especially and it's become such an important thing for me and I can't say I ever thought I'd have to really work on my sleep but here are things that I know work well for not only getting to sleep but staying asleep all night too.
WHY WE NEED A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP
There probably isn't anybody out there who can argue why we need sleep, especially a good quality snooze and here are a few reasons why;
- It can help to keep your brain functioning properly throughout the day.
- Reduce stress levels
- Can be a really big factor in how anxious you might feel, my mental health instantly gets ten times worse when I'm tired.
- Allows your brain to take in new information properly.
- Helps you to recover with physical health issues.
DON'T FEEL BAD FOR GOING TO BED EARLY
Something I've always been weirdly a little embarrassed about is how early I go to bed. Typically I'm asleep before 10am sometimes even 9.30am every night. Going to bed early instead of wasting my evenings away scrolling through my phone or binge watching whatever series I'm making my way through has been a game changer. And maybe it is boring and maybe I am missing out on something that happens after 10pm. But, honestly? I'd much rather be asleep so I feel somewhat alive when I wake up instead of being exhausted and then having to rely on caffeine or sugar to help me stay awake throughout the next day. It's so easy to just waste away your evenings not doing all that much, it's something that I did for years and the moment I stopped thinking that it was really weird that I was going to bed early so I could actually get enough sleep to allow me to function it changed my life. We live in a world where we seem to care way too much about what strangers are doing, who cares if you want to go to bed early? It doesn't make you boring or any less fun just because you're in bed by 9pm. We could all probably do with a little more sleep.
IF YOU'RE GONNA SCROLL, USE NIGHT MODE
I'd like to sit and tell you that I'm a perfect human being who never ever scrolls through her phone whilst laying in bed but I definitely do. Not all too often but with a boyfriend usually in a different time zone and it being the only time we can have somewhat of a conversation I try to make the most of it. And then sometimes I do get sucked in by Instagram, what can I say? There are far too many cute dog videos on there. But when I am using my phone I always make sure that I have the brightness turned right down and I also set my iPhone to go onto night mode which gives the screen a warm cast. If you didn't know, the really blue light that our phone emits is what wakes our brain up when we're trying to get to sleep so it's best to avoid it. I've noticed such a big difference since I started making the most of this feature and I'm also not blinded if I check the time in the night.
KEEP THINGS CALM
I can be a little bit of a dweller when it comes to certain things and if I'm not careful my mind can really start to race the moment that I get into bed. So I try to keep things as calm as possible when I'm settling down. This usually begins by putting down my phone down and not scrolling through anything, Twitter especially as there is more than likely something going down on there and it's not what anybody needs to be seeing just before they try and rest. As well as not viewing anything that could be a little stressful I also like to keep my surroundings as nice as possible, so tidying up the washing and not leaving it in a pile and making sure things are generally kinda tidy is something that really helps too.
BED = SLEEP
I'm sure like most people in the world I absolutely love my bed but something I've become really wary of is going and sitting in bed when I'm not actually planning on going to sleep. Granted, this is incredibly rare but it does happen and I've found it really disrupts my sleep pattern. I had to work in my bedroom for years as it was the only space I had in the house so I know how hard it can be, especially when you're at university. I used to make camp on my bed and work all day but I know it's not the best to work where you rest. If you can avoid it try not to just sit in bed or even worse work from it because your bedroom should be for sleeping, that's what its main function is. The less I associated my bedroom with work etc the easier I found it to drift off and I also try not to take anything into my bedroom that I shouldn't.
IF YOU WAKE UP, DON'T SCROLL THROUGH YOUR PHONE
A few months ago I went through a big stage of waking up at around 1.30/2am and after laying there for a few seconds I would instantly roll over and start scrolling through my phone. Even though nightmode is great and can really help when initially drifting off it's not something your mind needs at 2am. Sometimes getting back to sleep when you've suddenly woken up is so difficult but not reaching for something like your phone or even really opening up your eyes is something I found to work wonders.
A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP CHEAT SHEET
- Keep the room at a happy temperature for you, not too hot and not too cold.
- Invest in the best bedding you can afford.
- Use smaller light sources when trying to drift off.
- Pillow sprays are total princess products but can totally work.
- If you can, have a routine before you go to bed that can be signal to your brain that it's time to sleep.
- Maybe try a sleep app so you can see what is going on with your sleep pattern.
- Try to read instead of looking at a screen.
- If possible try not to go bed in a bad mood it usually ends up in a bad nights sleep making you feel even worse.
Do you have any tips for getting a good nights sleep?