Getting a good nights sleep is difficult for so many people these days for many different reasons. However, getting a good nights sleep is very important for your overall health and wellbeing. Your body does so much healing and repair work while you sleep and not getting enough can significanlty affect your body’s ability to recover from illness, exercise or stress. Why you’re not sleeping well can be a complex problem which I usually dig deeper into with my 1:1 Coaching clients, but here are some simple top tips that everyone can benefit from. It’s a great place to start so that if you do decide to sign up for coaching you have already tried the basic improvements which means we can move ahead into looking into more complex issues regarding your individual sleep issues.
- No phones / electrical devices (TV/laptop/iPad) in the bedroom – use a battery or rechargeable alarm clock if necessary that wakes you up gently rather than startles you.
- Black out blinds or heavy/thick curtains – this is not for everyone but depends on the environment you are living. If you’re in the countryside it’s not as necessary and you can let the natural sunlight wake you up, but if your somewhere with streetlights then dark curtains will help block out that outside light.
- Air purifier – making sure the air quality in your bedroom is important. Make sure to clean/dust regularly (with chemical free products) underneath and behind furniture where dust collects. If you have pets that sleep in your bedroom you will need to do this more often. An air purifyer can remove the smaller dust particles as well as mold and pathogens. I would very much suggest buying one for your home. During the day try to open your windows for a period to get some fresh air in (again this depends on your environment, if you live in a busy city maybe check the pollution levels before doing this).
- Ergonomic pillows – the type of pillows you need depends on the positions you tend to sleep in. But investing in a good quality pillow that supports your neck and spine is well worth the money. If you are a side sleeper it would be a good idea to also buy a pillow that goes between your knees so that you spine is not twisted while you sleep.
- Chamomile tea / sleep tea (avoid drinks with sugar like hot chocolate) – warm herb teas can be great for relaxing you before bed. Make sure to buy organic herb teas with plastic free teabags or buy an organic loose tea and use a metal strainer. Avoid sweetening the tea.
- Dimmed lighting – avoid bright lights as much as possible just before bed and even use candles to create a relaxing environment. This will help you to fall asleep quicker.
- Read before bed – not work related or that requires a lot of deep thought, it will help your brain drift off. Try for at least 30 minutes a night.
- Lavender pillow spray (or whatever smell you find relaxing) make sure it’s a natural scent and not an artificial perfume.
- Eye Mask – not the flimsy ones you get on an airplane but invest in a good quality sleep mask. This will help your brain switch off and it is actually very relaxing. They also work well if you’re trying to take a quick nap during the day.
- Mouth Tape – I’ve talked about the benefits of mouth taping in a previous post. You can read about it HERE.
- Castor Oil Pack – I have talked about the benefits of castor oil pack HERE, I use one every night and love it.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it – routine is so important when it comes to healthy sleep habits. As adults we tend to not want to have a ‘bedtime’ as it seems childish but it’s actually really important. Also, make sure family and friends know your bedtime so you are not disturbed with phone calls or visitors at that time. If you are inviting someone over in the evening make sure to politely tell them about your schedule.
- Avoid eating within 2 hours of your bedtime. Make sure to have a good healthy dinner that fills you up so that you don’t get tempted to snack later into the evening. Hunger can often be reduced by having a drink so get the herb tea ready!
- Put your phone on Do Not Disturb at least one hour before going to bed. Don’t get tempted to start sending work emails etc.
- If you do use your electrical devices after dark then make sure to use either blue light reflecting glasses or put a blue light filter on your device. I will write more about blue light in a separate post.
- Avoid strenuous exercise late in the evening, instead try some Yoga, Pilates or gentle stretching if you want to move your body.
- Meditation can help to relax the mind and body. Aim to start with just a few minutes and build up gradually. Guided meditation online can be helpful to listen to for beginners.
- Take a warm bath – add some natural oils or herbs to make it even more relaxing. Remember to use your body brush before getting in.
- If you struggle with maintaining a comfortable temperature once in bed you could think about a heating or cooling pad for you mattress. Great for those suffering hot flushes with menopause or for those cold Winter nights. You can find out more about heating/cooling pads HERE.
- Supplements – Avoid drugstore sleep products as they tend to either make you drowsy or have other side effects. One I recommend would be Gaia Sleep Maintenance Liquid Phyto Capsules – these contain a unique blend of herbs that supports restful sleep and healthy adrenal function, such as Ashwagandha root, Magnolia bark, Passionflower vine and more.
If you would like to find out more about my 1:1 Functional Health Coaching Program you can contact me HERE.
I hope this helps you to get a great nights sleep!