Whether you suffer from insomnia or the stress of Christmas is keeping you up at night – the following easy tips could help you drop off easier for the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had.
(Note: Having trouble sleeping could indicate other issues such as depression or sleep apnea. If these are concerns, you are advised to see your doctor for a check-up.)
1. Exercise regularly – Studies have shown that some aerobic exercise can help improve quality of sleep and reduce anxiety, so be sure to get moving for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Try to avoid exercising too close to bedtime however, as that post-exercise adrenaline boost could keep you awake.
2. Establish a routine – Devise a bedtime schedule to let your body know it is time to relax and get ready for sleep. This could include a mug of chamomile tea, a warm bath or some light reading.
3. Journal to stop your mind racing – If your sleep is being disturbed by a racing mind, try journaling any worries or thoughts you have. Once you get them down onto paper you should feel less anxious and more able to relax.
4. Keep the bedroom for sleep – Try to avoid taking your laptop to bed and finishing off those work notes – it will keep your brain switched on and will disassociate the bedroom with sleep. Instead keep the bedroom for sleep and sex only.
5. Keep the bedroom cool – While it may be tempting to have a super warm and cosy bedroom, studies show that between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature for the body to sleep in.
6. Have a warm bath/shower before bed – Not only does this help you to relax mentally and physically, the rise and fall of body temperature induces sleepiness.
7. Get up if you can’t sleep – If you find yourself tossing and turning for more than 20 minutes, get up. Try a relaxing activity such as listening to mellow music or reading. Lying in bed worrying about not sleeping will only make it harder to drop off.
8. Turn the alarm clock away – Watching the minutes drag by will only increase your anxiety about sleeping and the artificial light source can actually disrupt your circadian rhythm, making your body think it’s time to wake up.
9. Invest in lavender – A soothing scent known for it’s ability to combat insomnia, burning lavender scented candles or sprinkling a few drops of essential oil on your pillow could help you drop off to sleep.
10. Try relaxation techniques – These could include progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises or even self-hypnosis.
Some people find hypnotherapy a useful tool for beating insomnia. Find out more on our dedicated page.
For more insomnia beating tips, take a look at the full Greatist article.