We are all aware that getting enough sleep is paramount to optimal health. According to Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die, it’s best to aim for between 7 to 8 and a half hours a night, but what happens if you’re one of many that struggle with getting to sleep?
It can be stressful, annoying, and dangerous to have a sleepless night and so, with that in mind, I’ve devised some sleep easy hacks to share.
Listen to White Noise
This has revolutionised how I sleep; I used to scoff at the idea of listening to whale calls as weird hippy nonsense – whale calls still aren’t my thing – but it works. Just type into YouTube whichever type of noise you find relaxing – I enjoy waves, rain and waterfall sounds – pop your phone on charge face down on a book to minimise light, and relax.
Again, I used to scoff at people that wore eye masks but, with an eye mask, you wake up when you’re ready, not when the sun thinks you should be. The minimisation of light in your room when trying to sleep is so helpful to getting yourself a relaxed night; if eye masks aren’t your thing, maybe some black out curtains could do the trick.
I make myself a pillow spray by mixing a few drops of lavender and jasmine essential oils, or eucalyptus if I’m sick, with some purified water and spray it on my bedding every night before I got to sleep.
This helps in two ways; one, lavender makes your muscles relax – try adding it to the bath next time you get period cramps – and two, it tells your senses it’s time to sleep.
Turn Down the Heat
I once read that the perfect heat to sleep in is 18°C and, although I can’t remember where I read that fact or even if it is a fact at all, I’ve taken to turning my heating on 18°C about an hour before bedtime.
It makes it so much easier to get to sleep; it’s the golden heat between being too cold to sleep or too hot to sleep – magic!
My biggest issue when going to sleep, or when I wake up in the night, is worries and anxieties. It’s the time I begin to worry about money, my future, or the embarrassing thing I did 7 years ago.
Talking about this, whether that’s to myself in the form of a diary, to a friend, or to a partner, really helps me. I think this is because then you can realise how silly these things are and then you can move on and sleep – can’t imagine the people I bore feel the same though.
Hydrating helps everything.
Don’t Eat Late
If you do, you’ll feel uncomfortable as your body will be spending more time digesting your food and less time replenishing and rejuvenating.
Make Your Bed a Sleep Zone
Don’t eat on your bed or spend all day in it, even if you’re sick of unhappy – especially if you’re unhappy. Make your bed all about going to sleep.
Fairy Lights, Candles, and Books
Make a sleep ritual, whether that’s having a cup of tea and listing to a podcast, or like mine – it involves fairy lights, candles, and an enjoyable book. Have something at the end of each day that you look forward to, a little bit of time before bed where you can unplug and have some you time because, well, you deserve it.
This helps you sleep because it lowers your heart rate, if you’re not reading like hard-core horror novels, and puts you in a clear, relaxed head space.
I hope this helps! I know everyone is different, so these are just my little hacks but, as always, please share yours in the comments below!