We’ve all been there, it’s 2am and you have to be up for work in a few hours and no matter how many sheep you count – sleep is not your friend right now. It seems like it should be the easiest thing ever, right? Unfortunately for some, including myself, sleep doesn’t always come naturally.
From the moment you wake up, you’re counting down the minutes until you can jump right back into bed and give yourself over to the land of nod. All day, you’ve been fighting your brain to stay awake and feeding it lots of coffee because your eyes just do not want to stay open and you thoughts always find themselves thinking about how comfy your bed is and how much it must be missing you. But, when the time comes, your brain goes into overload and you start thinking about everything anything but sleep. Does this sound somewhat similar?
MAKE YOURSELF A HOT DRINK
Something milky and yummy. Avoid coffee like the plague if you want a sound sleep, instead turn to a milky hot chocolate or green tea. Chamomile tea would definitely be a good option. A hot drink helps relax your body and mind and hopefully, promotes sleep.
LISTEN TO CALM MUSIC
Soft, calming music relaxes your mind and helps you set your thoughts free and wander into sleepy land. You could make your own playlist of slow acoustic songs or soft piano, or if you’re feeling particularly lazy then Spotify has a load of good playlists ready made. I came across an app the other day called Doze and it’s turned into my best friend. It plays really calming music to help you sleep and you can set a timer so that it doesn’t play all night once you’ve *hopefully* fallen asleep.
GET A GOOD BOOK
I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before but turn your phone off. The blue light in the background of your phone screen keeps your brain awake and disrupts the production of Melatonin, the sleepy chemical. If, and only if, you must look at your phone, there are a load of apps such as Twilight that emit a red hue on your phone screen and doesn’t effect your sleep quite so much. Even better, put you phone down and pick a up a book. Reading stimulates your brain instead of keeping it awake so get cosy and catch up on a chapter or two.
I will use any excuse to buy candles, I can really never have enough. Not surprisingly, there are candles that are made specifically to promote certain feelings – sleepy, for example. I’ve just discovered Helpmeorganics and well, I’m in love. I have their “help me, it’s way past my bedtime’ candle – it contains Ginger, Melissa, Eucalyptus Radiata and Lavender and it’s simply dreamy (pardon the pun). Usually, my issue with scented candles it that they smell amazing until you light them and then it can sometimes hard to distinguish the smell but with this candle there was no denying the ingredients, the scent was strong and vivid but not overpowering. I was actually surprised to find it did actually made me feel quite sleepy. Just remember to blow it out before you drift off!
THE SLEEP PARADOX
This is so clever! Basically, instead of stressing about how you need to sleep, set yourself a challenge to stay awake. Instead of repeating ‘I can’t sleep’ in your head, try telling yourself “I will not go to sleep” and wait for your heavy eyes to take over.
Do you have any sleep secrets?