I recently found myself in an unhealthy pattern of late nights and groggy mornings; waking up feeling as though I’d hardly slept a wink and therefore setting me up to be in a really bad mood for the rest of the day.
I won’t go into why I wasn’t sleeping well, it was merely a combination of stress, anxiety and not being able to switch off; but even after the stress and anxiety have now eased off, the bad sleep patterns have unfortunately stuck around.
So, I started implementing a few simply things to help me not only fall asleep well but to wake up feeling refreshed too. I’m going to share the 5 things that I now do every night to help me fall asleep well and then in my next blog post I’ll share 5 things that help me to wake up well too. They’re all linked of course, the nighttime habits aid waking and the morning habits aid sleeping so if you can, try to implement as many as you feel you can fit into your routines too.
I got into a pattern of getting into bed feeling exhausted and then spending hours mindlessly scrolling through social media. Often I planned to get into bed and respond to a few emails, schedule some posts and generally be productive but I’m no night owl so come 10pm when I’m in bed my productivity levels are at an all time low.
I heard on a podcast that it’s really important to associate your bed with sleeping only so I’ve been making a conscious effort when I go into my bedroom at night to check my alarm is set (it always is but I still have to check every weeknight), set up my meditation app (next tip) and then put my phone down with the aim to not look at it again until morning.
When I have nothing but my thoughts to occupy my mind, I find that my mind starts to race and fill every gap with ideas, worries, stresses and plans; I’m really trying to change this by training my mind to just be still and the Calm app is amazing for this.
I listen to the Sleep section which has stories, meditations, soundscapes and music and they not only help me to drift off to sleep well (I’ve never remembered one finishing so I must always fall asleep during them) but they help me to still my mind and feel calmer in the long run.
Every evening I have to do some kind of self care, whether that’s a relaxing bath, face mask, foot scrub or simply taking off my make up using my Tropic products.
This doesn’t have to be right before I go to sleep but it’s always between putting the boys to bed and going to sleep myself and it just helps me to feel satisfied that I’ve made time for myself amongst working, cleaning and all the other post kiddies bedtime to-do’s.
I’ve mentioned on my Instagram before that I never feel more at one with my body and empowered than when I’m stretching. It may sound strange but it’s how I feel I connect most with myself and I try to do it as often as possible; not just after workouts but before them, before I go to bed, when I wake up and at points throughout the day when I’m feeling stressed, irritated and simply need to reconnect.
I don’t have any set routine, I tend to go with how my body is feeling and if I have any particular tense areas. I also don’t have a set amount of time that I dedicate, whether it’s one minute or half an hour it helps my body to relax which in the case of this blog post – is a real aid in helping me to drift of to sleep.
Plenty of water
Quite often when I’d struggle to fall asleep I’d drink water out of habit and then wake up multiple times in the night to go for a wee, drink more water, repeat. So now I make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water throughout the day, enough to keep my body hydrated without needing to drink a lot right before I sleep.
Keeping hydrated stops me from getting leg cramps that used to wake me in the night and ultimately it helps me to rid my body of toxins and have a better all round mood which in turn, helps me to fall asleep well.
I’m a big fan of essential oils and I’ve found the best combination to help me fall asleep is the Tropic So Sleepy pillow mist. It’s made from a blend of seven sleep inducing essential oils including camomile which helps to clear the mind, frankincense with creates a sense of calm to soothe the mind and lavender to de-stress and unwind.
It smells unbelievable and the only way that I can describe it is that it smells like sleep which I know is an impossible thing to say something smells like but it’s true! I even spray it on the boys pillows as they’re getting ready for bed and it really helps to calm them down (as much as a 2 and 5 year old can of course!).
Complete the day
Last but certainly not least is to complete the day, and by that I don’t mean finish off everything you had planned to do that day, no that will make you feel overwhelmed and potentially like you’ve failed if you don’t manage to. What I mean is to round off your day by ticking off the things you have managed to do, making a new list for tomorrow for the things you need to do and something that I find so helpful not only to aid in sleep but to build confidence and self-love is to write down your wins for the day with positive affirmations and goals.
For a long time I used Calum Bests ‘Best Me Life’ journal which has daily entries for you to fill out in the mornings as well as before bed and it’s a great way to just mind dump everything you’ve got whizzing around your head onto paper to help you not only clear your mind but to better make sense of what you have to do and are experiencing. I also firmly believe in the power of pen to paper and how writing down your goals and affirmations will help you to manifest the life you want, therefore feeling calmer and more positive which of course will aid in your sleep!
I really hope these tips help you when it comes to falling asleep; they’re all really simple and nothing groundbreaking but they’re things that have made a real difference when it comes to my ability to fall asleep quickly and easily and then stay asleep which is just as important.
If you have any tips to add I’d love for you to do so in the comments, I’m always looking for more ways to create a better sleep environment.
Thanks for reading,