Sleeplessness can be a pretty frustrating thing, especially when you are tossing and turning, unable to switch off. You wake up in the morning feeling tired, drained and wondering how you’re going to make it through another day.
We know sleep is so important to our overall health and wellbeing. The body actually needs sleep, just as it requires us to eat, drink and breathe to function. This explains why, after a good night’s sleep, we feel on top of the world! Our thoughts are clearer, our emotions are less fragile and we have a ton of energy to live out our active day!
Here are a few tips to help you get that shut eye you deserve!
Create a Calming Environment
Is your bedroom a soothing sanctuary or a multi-tasking area in which you work and rest? It is important psychologically to distinguish between your sleeping/resting life and your working life. One way is to set yourself boundaries and know that when you step into your bedroom it is a place for relaxing, unwinding, creativity and some much needed YOU TIME.
Take care and consideration when creating your sanctuary, after all it is your haven and escape. Clear out any clutter or mess or hang photographs that hold a special place in your heart. Buy some fresh flowers to put beside your bed, light a candle and ensure it is a ‘no stress zone’ (so no working to deadlines in your bedroom).
Not only when you enter that calming space of yours should you leave your worries at the door (literally), try and get into the habit of switching off your gadgets. That’s right, your smartphone, laptop, iPad ect.
Studies indicate that exposure to artificial light (electronics) before going to bed can increase alertness and suppress the release of melatonin (a sleep-promoting hormone). So, if you’re having trouble switching off at night, literally turn off all those gadgets and switch your phone to flight mode. This is your time to unwind and de-stress. Try swapping out your techno wiz ways and opt for a good book or a scrawl in your journal instead.
Essential oils are the perfect tool to bring into the bedroom and create a sense of ‘calm’. Lavender essential oil has a lovely calming effect on the nervous system. Place a few drops of lavender oil in a warm bath before bed or put a few drops on a cotton ball and place under your pillowcase at night. Chamomile, Neroli and Rose are relaxing, floral aromas that calm the mind and create a sense of harmony and balance. Ylang Ylang, Vanilla, Frankincense, Clary sage are also soothing fragrances to create a feeling of sanctuary.
If you are having trouble switching off at night, think about the possible affects your ‘move time’ is having on your ability to dream on. Exercise is a great way to help combat sleeplessness, however it’s important to avoid strenuous exercise right before sleep and even up to three hours before bedtime. Try getting your exercise out of the way in the morning, this will not only set you up for the day with a ton of energy, it will allow you to have that ‘down time’ to unwind and relax when you get home from work. If you don’t exercise regularly, add good sleep to a long list of reasons why you should take up the practice.
So if you are frustrated by not getting a good night’s sleep, try these four tips and see if they have positive effect on your mind and body.