According to the NHS insomnia affects around one in three people in the UK. We’ve all been there: those long nights when you can’t sleep, and when you do, you don’t stay asleep for very long. When you’re already stressed, there’s nothing worse than waking up and not feeling refreshed.
Through regular exercise and healthy eating I’ve found my sleeping pattern has improved. I took up yoga a few months ago, which has made a real difference. I would highly recommend it, although it’s important to find a class that promotes ‘tapas’. Nothing to do with Mexican food, this is a Sanskrit word which means ‘heat’ or ‘effort’. A lot of yoga classes are rather slow and boring, especially for someone like me with a busy mind, but the one I attend is quite physically demanding and I don’t have time to think!
Once you get used to it, it’s a great way to calm down, especially if you’re going through a stressful period in life; whether it’s wedding planning, family issues or legal work. It even makes waiting in the queue at the Post Office bearable!
Follow my top tips to help develop a good sleep routine:
Regular exercise – but avoid this directly before bed, as this could disturb your sleep. Although this can vary from person to person. My husband finds late night exercise helps him sleep.
Discipline yourself to go to bed the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning.
Ensure your bedroom isn’t too hot, cold or noisy. Invest in ear plugs or an eye mask if it helps.
Have a warm bath using ‘Clarins Relax Bath Concentrate’. The soothing properties are really relaxing and a great way to unwind before bedtime.
Keep a notepad and pen on your bedside, whatever’s on your mind – write it down. If needed, you can sort it out the next day, chances are once you’ve had time to reflect it really isn’t important at all. Well, not important enough to lose sleep over!
Don’t lay awake thinking about not being able to sleep, get up and go to a different room and read a book, or something else that will help you relax until you feel sleep.
Don’t use your bedroom for work. Turn off mobiles, tablets and the TV.
Stop those pesky thoughts and try taking a few drops of the Bach herbal remedy ‘Rescue Night’. These herbal drops really do work for me.
Rituals Calming Bed Mist – a calming mist for your bed & skin, this promotes restful sleep and doesn’t stain. I have sensitive skin and haven’t had any problems with this spray, it’s bliss!
Avoid caffeinated drinks after 3pm and try not to eat too late, especially within a few hours before going to bed.
Finally, if you can, avoid sleeping tablets. They may be helpful short term, but they don’t address the root cause and have a number of side effects.