Having a good night’s sleep is something all of us adults really appreciate, especially if we have full-time jobs or are in full-time education. But if you’re like me and really struggle getting to sleep in the first place due to our minds running a million miles per second before bed, then I have some fantastic tips that I have learned over the years to ensure you won’t be lying awake until the birds start chirping.
1. Allow 1 Hour to Unwind Before Sleeping
Make sure you have the time, no matter how busy you are, to dedicate 1 hour per night for relaxing. That means no work emails, no television or Netflix, and no social media (this is the hardest, I know). Put your phone on flight mode, resist the urge to reply to texts that are unimportant and check Instagram where, let’s be honest, nothing significant has changed. Allowing 1 hour per night not only gives you time to focus purely on your own wellbeing, but prepares your mind for an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
2. Set the Mood
Now, I don’t want to stereotype, but have you ever stayed over at a boyfriend’s house and they don’t have any candles or bed-side lights, but fall STRAIGHT TO SLEEP? Men are the luckiest creatures, falling asleep within seconds of their heads touching the pillow and without needing a bed time ritual to relax them. It is honestly a gift.
As for us women, I think we struggle a bit more. So, invest in some lovely scented candles, a dim bed-side lamp, and fairylights. I did this two years ago and continue to set the mood every night without even thinking about it. It is the best thing to do that reminds me “right, no more work, it’s time for bed”.
3. Read a Good Book
I don’t think of myself as an avid reader, and it’s something I think us millennials probably don’t do enough of. We prefer to read Instagram captions and Tweets rather than a printed book, but if you find a book you’re interested in and commit to reading it for just 10 minutes, you might find that you will end up reading it for hours. Reading a book before bed steers your mind away from lying awake overthinking about your day-to-day stress. It also tires out your brain in a healthy way before sleeping, so you’ll be ready to put down the book, turn the lights off, and fall straight to sleep.
Need more of a reason to read before bed? Check out “6 Reasons reading before bed may be the healthiest thing you do today.”
4. Try a Meditation App
This is not as bad as it sounds – you don’t have to be on the floor sitting cross-legged and humming in order to meditate. There are so many great free apps such as Headspace, Calm, and Oak on iOS that provide meditation sessions specifically tailored to induce a peaceful night’s sleep. You can do it in bed in your pj’s and choose how long you do it for. It is recommended to meditate daily and as part of a morning or evening routine.
Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.
– Headspace, 2018
5. Don’t Worry About Not Getting Enough Sleep
This is an obvious one – when we can’t sleep, we worry about not getting to sleep, which prevents us from sleeping! It’s a vicious cycle, but it doesn’t have to be. Just remember, what is the worst that could happen if you fall asleep at 4am? Let me answer for you: you’ll be a bit tired the next day. That’s it! The wonderful thing about being tired is that you can have a strong coffee. Have as many as you like to get you through the day, but be sensible of course. You might just fall asleep quicker than if you were lying awake worrying about it.
I hope this post has helped and inspired you to make some changes before bed. If you are struggling to get enough sleep over a prolonged period of time, I recommend that you see your doctor and get some professional sleep advice. If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram or contact me via the contact page.