Tips for the best ever sleep
I think this one is probably the most important. You need to have things you associate with going to sleep. It takes time to build a routine, but eventually you’ll get there. One of the simplest things you can do is spend less time in bed. I know, bed is THE BEST, but if you spend your waking hours as well as your sleep time in your bed, the lines get blurred. Bed should equal sleep. I found this out the hard way when I moved house and spent a lot of time in my bedroom while I was adjusting to the new house. I still do, but when the winter is fully gone I’ll be far more sociable. Sitting in bed watching Netflix and surfing the net is my ultimate weekend activity, but it has made me fall asleep more slowly at night. It helps that it’s been cold and gloomy, making it easier to want to be asleep, but I won’t get away with it now the evenings are getting longer and the temperature is rising.
I try to drink a big cup of chamomile tea right before bed. Maybe if you have a small bladder don’t drink it straight before bed, but the need to pee in the morning also helps me get up. Chamomile tea is thought to help people relax. It does help me go off to sleep quicker, and it could be a real effect, a placebo, or a result of habit, but what matters is that it works.It’s also a good way to make sure you’re hydrated. See it as your last chance to make sure you drank fluids during the day. Chamomile isn’t a diuretic and doesn’t contain caffeine, making it a nice cosy bedtime drink.
It’s supposed to be easier to sleep in a cold room because as you fall asleep your body temperature naturally drops. If you’re in a cold room you’re speeding that process along, so you’ll be in a deep sleep more quickly. Personally, I also hate waking up sweaty. There’s nothing like snuggling up under the duvet to make me feel sleepy, and I definitely don’t fancy doing that in a warm environment.
Get away from the screen for a bit
I will admit I am the worst for playing about on my phone while I’m supposed to be falling asleep. My phone is also my alarm, so I can’t sleep with it in another room. Unfortunately I am also a millennial and glued to my phone in a very cliché way. My phone does stop me getting to sleep, so I try to avoid it if I feel like I’m struggling to be tired enough to sleep. Same goes for laptops and TVs. Your brain won’t understand that it’s time to go to bed if you’re still stimulating it with so much light and information. Try reading a book instead, or write a journal. Anything relaxing that doesn’t involve technology should do it. Again, if you make it part of your routine it will help all the more.
Write your thoughts down
This is where a journal could come in handy. A lot of people struggle to fall asleep because the brain seems to think it’s the opportune moment to remember that moment you farted in assembly when you were 12. Or how about pondering how big the universe is. What is infinity? Why do we drink milk from the udder? How does the internet do the thing?!?!? And on and on and on. It can help to write down the thoughts you’re having. When I’ve got a lot on I tend to lie awake planning how I’m going to get it all done. To-do lists quickly became my night time friend. Lists cam help get all those thoughts out of your head and onto paper instead. It also means you won’t forget anything important. Personally I am most creative at night, and I don’t want to lose a lot of the thoughts I have at night that will be forgotten in the cold light of day.
It’s okay to try again later
If you are struggling to sleep, the best thing you can do is try something else for a bit. Turn on a dim light and do something for twenty minutes. Read a book or do some writing. Try not to do anything involving a screen though as this can be counterproductive and just wake you up even more. Often this will result in a better sleep than if you just laid in bed doing nothing but not sleeping. It can be hard if it’s the middle of the night. It feels kind of naughty to get up at 3am for a bit. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.