Published: 03 February 2020
Sleep Better at Night: Healthy Sleep Tips
Sleep is something we all need but don't always get - sometimes we have too much to do but not enough hours in the day, on other ocassions we have the time but our minds just won't unwind.
1. No screen time an hour before bed
Looking at our phones or laptops does not require too much energy, which is why it can easily keep our minds awake. Try switching off the TV, putting down the phone or staying off the computer an hour before bed. Perhaps pick up a book instead, start your night-time routine or listen to an audiobook. Non-screen activities will help your mind have that important time to wind down before sleep.
2. Make a bedtime list
If you're someone who worries before sleep, try keeping a journal or note pad by your bed. Then, when your mind is keeping you up, write down all the thoughts bothering you. You can always get rid of the paper in the morning! This may also help if you’re prone to waking up and being unable to wind back down – or get struck with inspiration at the most unhelpful times!
3. Try lavender
We've praised lavender a few times before, but the studies support its calming effects. Interested? You can read more about it on our blog here. Our general tips though are trying some drops of lavender oil on your pillow, lighting a lavender candle or using Temple Spa’s Repose Night Cream before bed. Trick your brain into relating this smell with sleep, and eventually the smell will instantly prepare your mind for bed.
4. Create a comforting space
Make your bed a haven with soft bedding, relaxing colours and soothing scents. Try to avoid using your bed for work, so that in your mind it stays a place of relaxation.
5. Try exercising
Studies have shown that building muscle can help you fall asleep easier and reduce the amount of times you wake up in the night. It can also aid sleep by reducing depression or anxiety, which are known for interfering with sleep. Currently, there is no guide on just how much exercise you need for it to be effective, so try different amounts to see what works best for you. Perhaps you could start by trying some bedtime yoga during your no-screens hour?
6. Accept the lack of sleep
Sometimes, there is really nothing you can do but accept that you’re not going to get any sleep that night. It’s hard when we have an alarm clock set not to be conscious of the limited time we have to cram sleep in. But next time when you wake up and find yourself staring at the dark ceiling, try not to get angry you only have 3 hours left. Try accepting that your mind is awake and then put it to use - read, write, listen to music. Maybe even do some housework! Some of the most famous people in history suffered with insomnia, but they turned it into an advantage point - they used it to hone their skills/plans! At the very least, if you can stop finding the lack of sleep so frustrating, it will wear you down less.
If you’ve been struggling lack of sleep for a while and nothing seems to help you, please see a doctor for medical advice. The NHS recommend keeping a sleep diary, which you can download by clicking here (PDF, 55kb). It may help you uncover lifestyle habits or daily activities that contribute to your lack of sleep.
Published: 03 February 2020