Woman in computer room sleeping

Set Yourself Up For Sleep

How’s your sleeping routine? Or your sleep itself for that matter? If you don’t have the former then the latter will suffer. Yet establishing a sleeping routine isn’t particularly difficult. It just needs practice. And, of course, it has to be a good routine in the first place.

Bad routines include indulging in such activities as checking your phone while in bed or taking a can of coke (or any caffeinated drink) to bed with you, watching TV while under the covers and reading a horror novel (if you’re prone to having nightmares about them).

Ideally we should all be getting around eight hours sleep. Most of us manage between six and seven. That’s not great considering sleep is the way our body repairs itself. In this sense then the more sleep we get (within reason) then the healthier we are. Here are some fail-safe tips on getting a good night’s shut-eye:

Do these for a healthy night’s sleep

  • Ban worries. Around an hour before you go to bed write down anything – and everything – that’s worrying you in a notebook. This way you empty your head of them and they are all neatly written down, ready for you to deal with tomorrow (nothing you can do about them right now anyway!).
  • Be prepared. By a similar token, prepare for the next morning by getting everything ready in advance ie the papers you need in your bag, your clothes ready to wear and your lunch made up ready to grab from the fridge as you leave.
  • Heat up. Having a hot bath a couple of hours before you get to bed raises your body temperature which in turn relaxes you and makes it easier to get to sleep. It’ll be more effective still if you add my special relaxation formula – two cups of Epsom salts, half a cup of raw apple cider vinegar, a quarter a cup of baking soda and a few dashes of lavender oil. Make sure you also light a candle for atmosphere.
  • Avoid electronics. Why the TV screen and your phone are so bad is all down to the blue light they emit. This prevents the sleep-inducing chemical melatonin from working properly, meaning you’ll be awake for longer.
  • Say thanks. Just before you drop off it’s a great idea to remind yourself of the great things that happened that day by choosing three of them to highlight in your mind.

Keep yourself awake by doing these:

  • Remain active. Keeping busy right up to bedtime is going to make it harder for you to wind down and relaxed enough to feel sleepy. That means no laundry, cleaning or cooking prior to heading for bed.
  • Exercise late. Just like carrying out household chores, exercise too can keep us awake if done too close to sleep – even three hours prior to bed time can be too soon. That’s because you’ll simply feel energised rather than relaxed.
  • Eat big. Have a main meal just before bed and you’ll stay awake for hours while your body does all its digesting. The same goes for eating spicy food – it’s far too stimulating for sleep.
  • Take caffeine. Caffeine really shouldn’t be taken any later than your evening meal. That’s because it can stay in the body for hours and for some particularly sensitive individuals makes sleep practically impossible.

If you’re a bad sleeper then consider carrying out some of the suggestions from the first list of bullet points. Then let me know what happened – that’s if you’ll have time with all that extra sleeping you’ll be doing…

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