Have you woken up feeling as though you’ve only just laid down? Do you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? When was the last time you had a really good night’s sleep? If you’re anything like me, the sleep fairy visits spasmodically and never when you really need her! So I’ve been on a quest to find ways to get a better sleep – here’s what I found…
7 top tips for better sleep
Some of us just aren’t getting enough exercise. It goes without saying that when we exercise, it expends energy and makes us more likely to be tired at bedtime. Exercise is scientifically proven to help you fall asleep faster and help you to wake up feeling more refreshed. If you feel you don’t have enough energy to exercise because you’re not getting enough sleep, perhaps start out with a short walk or a less strenuous exercise and build up your routine from there.
2. Move more
Closely related to the above tip, it’s a good idea to spend less time sitting during the day, and more time moving. Stand up whenever you can, rather than sitting. Aim to sit for fewer than six hours per day. Even while watching TV, stand up during the ads, or walk to another room and back. Just get moving!
3. Drink & eat early in the evening
Avoiding heavy meals close to bedtime can help with relaxation, rather than feeling your dinner is sitting heavily in your stomach. Research has shown that drinking alcohol or coffee after dinner can contribute to sleeplessness at bedtime and during the night. The same goes for foods high in sugar levels.
4. Have a relaxation ritual
Whether it’s a warm bath, a cup of herbal tea, a meditation session or using essential oils, have a ritual you follow regularly to signal to your body and mind that it’s time to wind down for the day and get ready for sleep. I rub a little dab of lavender oil onto my pulse points, which works a treat at relaxing me for better sleep.
5. Do a digital detox
Try to avoid using your phone, tablet or computer for at least one hour prior to bedtime. We have a ban on electronic devices in the bedroom, including any TV. This may sound extreme to some, but I’ve personally found it to be very effective in encouraging better sleep.
6. Journal before lights out
Writing in my journal before bedtime often helps get thoughts out of my busy brain and helps me to relax. Also, doing a “brain dump” by writing down everything that’s worrying you can help. Make a “to do list” for the next day, week or month… just get it down on paper and out of your head.
7. Practice deep breathing
A few years ago, I took a meditation class, where we learnt to practice deep breathing. Simply take a long, slow, deep breath in through the nose for as long as you can (up to 10 seconds is good to start), then slowly breathe out through the mouth. While taking these deep breaths, say to yourself slowly, “I am relaxed, I am calm, I am sleepy”. This might sound a bit “woo-woo” for some people, but it’s working for me! J
The above tips have recently helped me enjoy a deep, blissful night’s sleep on many occasions. While my insomnia hasn’t disappeared altogether, with better sleep I’ve found my thinking is clearer, my productivity has improved and I’m less grumpy with my loved ones (they’re pretty happy about that!). Getting better sleep has helped me get out of my tired rut and back to Lovin’ Life!!
What are your top tips for better sleep?
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