How to switch off and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep
With everything that’s going on in the world at the moment, it can be difficult to unwind and switch off in the run-up to bedtime. Social media is addictive, hours of scrolling can leave you wired and wide awake when it’s time to sleep, which can start to impact on your mental health and ability to function properly the next day. If you’re struggling to find a routine that works for you as you get ready to hit the hay, here are a few tips to help make sure that you get your beauty sleep.
Get some fresh air
The importance of taking in some fresh air and stretching those legs can never be underestimated. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, try to get just a 15-minute walk in – not only is it important for your health and well-being, it releases some all-important endorphins.
Enjoy a long, relaxing soak in the bath
Put the phone down, turn off the television and turn on the hot taps. Fill up with a relaxing bubble bath and soak away the stress. Perhaps pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read but never got round to, or just close your eyes and enjoy the peace and quiet. Too often, we’re surrounded by too much noise and never get the chance to have some much needed me-time.
Give your room a makeover
Think about it – how long have you slept on that pillow? If you can’t remember when you bought it, chances are you’re in need of an upgrade. Given how much of our lives we spend sleeping, it makes sense to ensure we’re as comfortable as physically possible. These days the range of pillows available cater to all different types of sleeper – if you sleep on your side you might need a different pillow to someone who sleeps on their front, while someone with back problems might need a completely different style of pillow. The right pillow can be a real game-changer, so make sure to shop around to find the pillow to suit your sleeping style.
It’s getting hot in here
Think about the temperature in your room – if it’s too warm you’ll struggle to get comfy and may find yourself waking up throughout the night. With the summer looming ahead, consider a lighter duvet, or using a fan to help cool the room before you go to bed.
Say goodbye to the dawn chorus
There’s nothing worse than waking up at the crack of dawn because your curtains are letting the light in. If you find yourself waking up early and can’t get back to sleep, it’s worth investing in some blackout curtains.
Soothing aromas can also make a real difference as you get ready for bed. There are a plethora of oils out there you can add to a diffuser – from lavender to bergamot, peonies, and sea salt, there is a scent out there to help you relax after a busy day.
While we’re all tempted by a snack or two while chilling in front of the tv of an evening, try to avoid alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine as you get closer to calling it a night. All three can disrupt your sleep, as can spicy foods. If you’re peckish, enjoy a light snack 45 minutes before bed.
Make time for downtime
Attempting to sleep straight after watching a film or scrolling on your laptop can be difficult – your brain needs time to wind down. If possible, leave some time between using your devices and heading to bed, and fill that time with a good book, listening to some music or trying a meditation app. What works for one person might not work for another, so don’t be disheartened if reading doesn’t work for you but it helps your other half drift off.
Avoid the catnaps
We all know there’s nothing better than a cheeky daytime nap – it can feel almost illicit and at the time, makes you feel amazing! However, when you’re heading to bed, that daytime nap can impact on getting to sleep – pushing your whole routine out of sync.
If all of the above have been tried and you’re still struggling, a melatonin supplement could be the answer. A sleep hormone that tells your brain when it’s time to relax and head to bed, melatonin is often taken by those trying to adjust to a new time zone, and appears to have no side effects. Start with a low dosage and then increase slowly if needed. It’s also worth checking with your doctor or a pharmacist before taking anything new.More tips on our Beautysleep article