Hiya everyone ♡
While I am the world champion of sleeping, there are times (mostly when I am stressed) that I battle to get to sleep at night.
During those times I read up on the subject and picked up a few tricks that actually work to help me drift off.
1. Exercise ♡
It really does work! Exercise (which releases endorphins) doesn't only help in falling asleep, the quality of sleep improves as well! I mix up my workout routine between yoga, running and weight-training.
2. Have a bedtime ritual ♡
The brain loves following an effective pathway. Developing your own ritual will train your brain to know that it is time to shut down soon. When I am finished watching TV or relaxing for an hour or two, I go upstairs to my bedroom, brush my teeth, apply some eye cream, fill in my gratitude diary, and pick up a book. That is an example of my bedtime ritual, you can obviously make your own up.
3. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary ♡
My bedroom is designed and decorated around sleep. I don't use my laptop in my room, I do not have a TV in my bedroom, and I have minimal furniture - it's pretty much my bed and my bedside table. All of my other activities (watching TV, doing work, etc) are done in other rooms. I also have very soft lighting in my room, enough to read but not enough to shock me awake if someone puts a light on. I also have blinds that completely black out the room. All of these elements were used to create my sanctuary, the place I know that when I settle down it is time to sleep.
4. Drink some Chamomile Tea ♡
Chamomile has effects on anxiety and helps with relaxation. Both of these effects will assist in sending one off into a wonderful slumber. I like to have a mug of Chamomile Tea about 30 minutes before I go to bed, or with me in my room whilst I do some reading. I love the one from Woolworths.
5. Yoga ♡
I do yoga in general which I definitely makes me feel relaxed and more emotionally rounded. There are also some poses which are linked to relaxation. You can read about them here.
6. Make lavender your best friend ♡
Lavender essential oil induces sleep which has made it a common recommendation for an alternative treatment of insomnia - plus it smells great! I like to 'sprinkle' a few drops of lavender on my pillows before bed time. It really is a treat. Oh, and I forgot to mention that it is a natural mosquito repellent - double win!
I also incorporate lavender into my bath time. Sometimes it's as easy as putting a few drops in the bath, sometimes it goes as far as making my own bath salts (I personally love a lavender and sandalwood mix). If I am serious about my essential oils, then I buy them at a heath shop (±R120), but if you want a cheaper alternative then you can get at Clicks or Dischem (±R80).
7. Catch up on some reading ♡
Reading allows you to relax your body and slow your breathing, both of with allows you to drift off. Books with real paper pages are best! I highly suggest not straining your eyes with any blue light before bed time. Blue light wakes up your brain and will significantly lengthen the time for your brain to switch off to fall asleep. Also, working right until bed time is a big no-no. Your brain will take a good, long time to start shutting down. I stop working and allow myself at least an hour of relaxation before bed. So - no phones, tablets, laptops!
I fall asleep almost too easily when I do some reading. It does, however, get a bit annoying as often I'm really keen on getting some good reading time in and because I always want to fall asleep in the airport lounge or on the plane! Anyway, I took a snap of my current reads and my fave authors in case you care ;)
8. Download a sleeping app ♡
This is my favourite and easiest trick. I love apps that play sounds that help me relax and fall asleep really quickly. My favourite sound is rain with a few claps of thunder here and there.
My all time fave app is called Dormio. It's only available on iOS (which devastates me). You can download it here.
The app that I currently use on my Android device is Nature Sound. The sounds aren't as great as Dormio, but they are still effective for the desired result. You can download it here.
I choose the sound I want for the evening (rain, storm, waves, fire, etc) and set the timer for 20 minutes. Very rarely have I not fallen asleep within that 20 minutes (I can only actually think of 1). After desired time length is up, the app will switch off, so no worries of the sound playing the whole night through.
9. Don't take meds ♡
I highly suggest trying your hardest not to use pills to put you to sleep. It is so easy to become reliant on them followed by your body getting used to them. When your body is immune to them, you feel like you need to up your dose to get them working again. It is a vicious circle! Did you know that there is even a condition called medication-reliant insomnia?
I hope that these tips help! If you have any other tips or if you find that these tips work, please comment below to let me know!
*Please keep in mind that I am not an insomniac or sleep therapist and am providing these tips because they work for me. I hope some or all of these can help you ♡