Do you suffer from poor sleep?
It is difficult for your body to move quickly from being awake to sleep. So it is important to give your body the time, space, freedom and the right conditions so it can naturally relax, so you can enjoy a restful night’s sleep.
If you would like to improve the quality of your sleep, then give my 12 terrific ways to get to sleep at night, so you can wake feeling more energising and alive.
# 1. Maintain a regular sleep pattern
Probably the single most important factor for having a good sleep is to go to bed at the same time each day. It is important that you do not sleep at different times at the weekends compared to the week. Keeping to a regular sleep pattern is important for your body so it can find a healthy sleep rhythm. Once your body has found a natural rhythm, you will find it so much easier to get to sleep at night.
# 2. Make sure your bedroom is sleep-friendly
Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and airy. If it is too hot or too bright then this will prevent you from having a good night’s sleep. Increasing airflow, such as opening a window, will make sure that oxygen levels are high. You should definitely not leave the central heating or electric blanket on all night.
Try adding a few drops of lavender oil on a small cloth and place it under your pillow. The smell of the lavender will calm your mind and help you drift off to sleep. Use an orthopaedic pillow to make sure your head and neck are in the best position. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and doesn’t leave you with aches and pains in the morning. If you do wake with aches and pains buy an orthopaedic mattress. Only use bedding made of natural materials such as cotton. Position your bed so you lie in a north to south or east to west position.
# 3. Actively relax before bedtime
Most parents know how important it is to help their children relax before bedtime. They give them a bath, read them a story, and make sure their bedroom is cool and dark. But as adults, we forget how important this is and think somehow we can go straight off to sleep after watching TV or working on a computer until late at night.
You should actively do things that promote relaxation such as taking a long relaxing bath, reading a book or doing breathing exercises. Try to dedicate 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime to relax. Do not watch TV for at least one hour before sleep. Do not work, write emails or make calls late into the night.
# 4. Carry out my deep relaxation technique
If you struggle to relax at bedtime why not try my nighttime relaxation technique?
Try this simple and effective 10-step bedtime deep relaxation technique will help you become deeply relaxed.
If you would prefer, try listening to my free deep sleep recording. This is a great way to give your mind something else to focus on, especially if you find your mind races at night when you lie in bed. If you listen to the recording for three weeks who should find you drift off to sleep more easily.
# 5. Carry out my morning energising routine
If you wake in the morning feeling tired and struggle to get going then try my morning EFT energising routine. When you wake, simply sit on the side of the bed with your back straight, head up and eyes closed and your feet flat on the floor and carry out this simple routine.
# 6. Increase your exposure to natural daylight
If you work indoors chances are you will not spend much time in natural daylight during the day. Natural daylight is important for two key reasons: Firstly it increases your bodies production of vitamin D which is important for healthy skin and immune system. Secondly, the receptors in the eye are stimulated in daylight, so when light levels drop in the evening they trigger the production of the hormone melatonin that helps you sleep.
So why not get off the bus or tube one stop early and walk the last bit to work or home? Alternatively, try to get out of during your lunch break and take a walk. Even a 10-minute walk in natural daylight can have a significant effect on the quality of your sleep.
# 7. Increase regular light exercise
Increasing your physical activity will increase your tiredness at the end of the day.
Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins that promote happiness too.
You should try to exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes each time.
Try not to exercise within three hours of going to bed.
If you are concerned about starting to exercise always check with your doctor first.
# 8. Keep a sleep journal
Each evening before going to bed, make a list in your sleep journal of any jobs you need to do the next day. Next day tick off any jobs you complete. This can help you recognise your achievements and have a positive outlook.
If there are any worries on your mind, write them down on a separate page too. If you wake in the night, write down any worries or thoughts that are keeping you awake. This can help you put them to one side. Tell yourself that you will deal with them tomorrow. Then in the morning rip up, cut up or shred the page with the worries you wrote down. This can allow you to move on and bring closure to the worries.
# 9. Do not take naps during the day
Sleeping during the day will disrupt your sleep pattern and make it less likely you will be tired at bedtime.
It is important to get your body used to only sleeping at night.
Taking naps during the day will disrupt your body’s sleep rhythm.
# 10. Reduce fluid intake before bedtime
Make sure you do not drink any fluids two hours before bedtime. This should avoid you needing to not wake during the night needing to go to the toilet.
You should also avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine before bedtime.
Alcohol and caffeine are both stimulants and will disturb your sleep.
Replace tea and coffee with herbal teas such as chamomile or peppermint.
Most people think alcohol helps you sleep, but it actually disrupts the deep sleep cycle that is important for body repair and promoting good mental health.
So do not consume any stimulant at least four hours before bedtime as these work against your body’s natural sleep mechanisms and will disrupt your sleep.
# 11. Avoid large meals before bedtime
It is recommended that the two largest meals of the day are breakfast and lunch.
You should only eat a light meal in the evening.
Consuming a large evening meal means that half your energy will be diverted to your digestive system which will prevent you from sleeping.
You need to make sure your body uses all its energy during sleep for repairing your body.
# 12. Remove all electronic devices from the bedroom
Remove all electronic equipment including TVs, phones, tablets and computers from your bedroom as these will interfere with your sleep.
Studies have shown that the blue light emitted from smartphones and tablets can disrupt your sleep.
Blue light reduces the production of the hormone melatonin that induces the sleep phase.
Blue light confuses the brain into thinking that it is morning and so prevents the release of melatonin.
Put your phone on silent so it does not disturb you.
Do not use any electronic device one hour before bed.
Leave phones and tables outside your bedroom to reduce the temptation to look at them if you wake during the night.
Would you like some help having better quality sleep?
I hope you have found this article interesting and helpful. If you would like some help improving the quality of your sleep, please get in touch for a free consultation to find out how hypnotherapy can help you change your habits so you have better quality sleep and wake feeling more energised and positive.