How to Get to Sleep and Wake up Refreshed
Good quality sleep is essential for maintaining good energy levels and your mental health. The optimal amount of sleep required will vary from person to person and depend on various factors. A big factor is age. The average adult generally requires between 7 and 9 hours but a newborn can sleep as much as 17 hours a day! Whatever your requirements, for a good nights sleep, this period should be as uninterrupted as possible.
When we sleep is the time our body recharges itself so if you don’t get enough, you start the day half prepared.
Look at the different reasons below as to why you may not be able to get to sleep or are not sleeping as well as you should and find ideas to change this.
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One way to try and improve your sleep is to establish a routine and do each activity at the same time each night. A night time routine after a while will signal to your brain that it’s time for your body to wind down and that sleep is imminent.
A few suggestions to include in your night time routine are:
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Turn off your electronics an hour before your bedtime. Your mind should be winding down and watching TV or checking your phone only helps to stimulate your mind.
- Have a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile is known to have a calming effect and aid sleep. However, don’t drink too late as you don’t want a bathroom visit in the middle of the night to interrupt your sleep.
- Take care of your skin with a cleansing routine this might include a bath to relax your muscles.
- Listen to soothing music.
- Stretch – There are plenty of bedtime yoga routines to explore on Youtube.
- Use lavender – Studies have shown that lavender decreases your heart rate and relaxes the body so using lavender products such as candles, oils that can be used in a burner or aromatherapy sprays can help get you to sleep faster.*
- Clear your mind and write down a plan of action for the next day with a planner.
*Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Whatever you choose, do each activity at the same time each night. Overtime your body should pick up cues that it’s time to slow down and sleep.
How do you get ready for bed?
Share your best night routines in the comments below.
Once, you’ve decided on a night routine see if you can boost your productivity with a simple morning routine.
You can find a habit tracker in the freebies page to help you establish a routine.
Create an inviting environment to retreat to at the end of the day. Ensure your bedroom is clean and peaceful. If necessary, declutter your room to create a warm space. If decluttering your bedroom is a big job, do it in stages but start by tidying any overfilled bedside tables so the immediate space bedside your bed is clear.
Say goodbye to any visible LED displays you can see from your bed as they may disrupt your sleep. If your alarm clock has a digital display, turn it away from the bed or better still put it out of reach for your bed so (1) you can’t constantly glance at the clock and (2) you will be less likely to hit the snooze button if you have to get out of bed to turn the alarm off.
If you can, keep your bedroom for what it’s intended for. So no TV or computer. If this isn’t possible, switch off your devices an hour before bedtime.
When decorating choose soft tones that make you feel calm and finish off your room which accessories that help you relax and help make the room peaceful such as plants and photos.
Take time to make your bedroom somewhere that you can’t wait to finish the day in.
Mattress and bedding
I love shopping on-line but one of the things you should try before you buy is a mattress. Take the time to try out any mattress you’re thinking of purchasing. Spend at least 10 minutes laying on it in different positions. If you have a partner, test it out together.
There are many aspects to consider when choosing a new mattress, before visiting the stores, you can find very useful information in this in-depth buying guide from Silentnight.
However, a new mattress can be a big investment, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, a topper can give your mattress a new lease of life.
Don’t forget to show some love to your pillows too. If you’re waking up with neck pain it might be time to replace them.
Ensure you’re not being distracted by any lights. After putting away any LED displays and any other distracting electronics, it’s time to deal with the other lighting.
Swap out those bright bulbs for a softer low wattage night bulb.
If you’re in the market for new window dressing, invest in blackout curtains or blinds. It’s well worth spending the extra money to achieve complete darkness in your bedroom. If this isn’t possible and the early morning light is distracting, make like you’re a movie star with a sleeping eye mask.
Your sleep will be disrupted if you’re too hot or too cold. A temperature of around 18°C (64°F) is regarded as a good level to keep your bedroom. You don’t need the same temperature level as your living room as you’ll be underneath your covers.
If you’re still too cold, save your energy bills and invest in a hot water bottle, it will pay for itself in no time.
Release some stress and make time for activities that bring you joy. Use the self-care planner on the freebies pages to help you. The planner includes a to-do list area which you can use to write down all the tasks you need to complete the next day. Incorporate this into your night routine to clear your mind.
I start but writing out my to-do list then complete my self-care activities so I can see what I have to do but also know that I have scheduled some time for myself..
You can also meditate to ease any anxiety you have and practice your breathing. Slowly breathing in and out will help to slow your heart rate and in turn your mind. This is a technique to use if you get anxious in general. You want to be as calm as possible before going to bed so your mind isn’t racing and thinking about things as you will find it difficult to sleep with an active mind.
Saying some some positive affirmations out loud can also help.
Also avoid drinking coffee or anything with caffeine in it as caffeine stays in the body for hours and will prevent you from sleeping.
Another thing to avoid is drinking alcohol before bed. It can help you initially fall asleep as it can have a sedative effect but can interfere with deep sleep so even if you don’t wake up during the night you won’t feel as refreshed in the morning as you would be if you slept through the night without alcohol.
If you would like advice on cutting down on your alcohol intake, visit Drinkaware.
Look at all the issues that are causing your sleeping problems, take action today and get the rest you need.