This time last year, I was experiencing more stress than I had ever felt before in my life. The feeling of being absolutely exhausted but still completely unable to sleep was something that would haunt me for days on end. In the end, I bought some over the counter herbal sleeping tablets that would make me drowsy enough to drift off. While this was a short-term fix to my problems, it was making me drowsy during the day time and I wanted a more long-term remedy. Now, while I still struggle with getting to sleep every so often, I have picked up some tips that have really helped me. I thought I’d share them with you guys in the hope that it’ll help at least one of you that is struggling with stress or lack of sleep!
I’d like to start of by saying that getting yourself into a good routine (getting up early and going to bed at a decent time) is one of the main ways to improve your sleep pattern. As much as sleeping during the day or having naps may seem like a good idea at the time, it can be really damaging to how you sleep for the rest of the week. I also have found that partaking in some exercise a few times a week has got my body pumping and made it easier to sleep come the evening time. Here are some simple steps to help you get to sleep if you are already sticking by this routine:
1) Take a long bath before bed to help you begin to un-wind. Adding bath salts into the mix is something that really helps me to relax – I’m a big fan of the This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak. It contains essential oils of chamomile and vanilla and even if this fails at making you sleepy it smells delicious and is great for moisturising the skin.
2) Turn off your electrical items. Nothing can be more distracting than your phone going off every two minutes. The light from your electrical screens is said to activate the brain instead of allowing it to wind down. I have definitely noticed a big improvement since turning my phone and laptop off before bed.
3) Spray your pillow with a bit of sleep mist. I’m really into the Deep Sleep Dreamy Body Mist by The Body Shop as it doesn’t smell overly pungent and really helps to lull you into a state of relaxation.
4) Reading a good book is another great way of allowing the mind to slowly drift off (and is good for distracting you from any stress you may be feeling). Try reading something that is quite easy-paced and not too difficult to get your head around. Recently I’ve enjoyed reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
5) If you are in no way able to concentrate on reading or sleeping because you are being plagued by stress, I always think you should have a journal or piece of paper to hand. For me, writing is very cathartic. I like to write down in bullet points a brief list of my worries and maybe some suggestions of how these can be resolved. If I can’t think of any resolutions (which is yet to happen) I like to write down a few things that I’m thankful for. This will remind you that no matter how bad your situation may seem, there is always something positive to celebrate.
6) Finally, if none of this has worked, I find a bit of guided sleep meditation very useful. I’ve gotten into this a lot recently. Simply Google or Youtube ‘guided sleep meditation’ (or you can buy a CD) and follow the sound of the person’s voice until you fall asleep. This one is my favourite:
I really hope that these tips help! If you guys have any suggestions that will help improve my sleeping further I’d love for you to leave them in a comment below 🙂