I am a light sleeper. Hence the struggles of falling asleep and waking up at the slightest sound are all too familiar to me. If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I feel grumpy and tired. My skin reflects my bad sleep too.
I decided to change my sleeping routine and created my own sleeping tips for a good night sleep. Being able to properly rest up at night helps me to be more productive during the day.
My husband snores which means getting a good night’s sleep becomes even more challenging. A while back I decided to try using earplugs. Although uncomfortable and unusual at first they did a great job of cancelling out the irritating snoring. I am so used to them now that we are almost inseparable. My secret is to only put one earplug in and cover the other ear with the pillow. Otherwise, there’s a genuine risk of sleeping through the alarm and after a few incidents of this kind leading to you getting fired.
2 Eye Mask/Dark Curtains
When my husband and I moved into our new flat there were no curtains in the bedroom. As summer nights are generally very bright, we had probably the shortest nights of sleep in history. By the time our curtains arrived we were so sleep deprived that the entire weekend wasn’t enough to properly rest up.
Definitely make sure you have very thick curtains. Living in a big city robs most people of a good night’s sleep because of the light pollution. Sleeping in a pitch dark room without any artificial lights is very good for your health as it normalises the level of melatonin produced by your body.
I’ve also purchased an eye mask to have an even ‘darker’ and tighter sleep.
3 No intensive thinking or working before bed
I am not a night owl but occasionally I get really productive before bed which results in my insomnia.
My average bedtime is about 11-12 pm. So If I decide to get writing for my blog at 10 pm, I will never get myself to sleep by midnight. My mind starts to wander and generate new ideas for my blog. My whole body feels like it’s ready to conquer the world. At which point If I am lucky enough my brain calms down by 1 or 2 am.
4 A low sugar day
I’ve noticed that when I have a sugar-heavy day, my heart beat increases and I struggle to fall asleep. Also cutting down on the sugar intake just before bed is another lesson learnt.
When thoughts are buzzing in your head, mediation is the best way to calm down. Concentrate on the voice, feel your body weight and draw all the attention to the breathing. I took up meditation very recently. My techie husband coaxed me into meditation by pointing out that it’s Silicon Valley’s hottest trend.
Although I never understood yoga, mindfulness and meditation, I kind of got to like it. And now it’s me who insists we meditate together before bed.
6 At least an hour reading before bed
Reading is great and powerful. It takes your mind off day-to-day thoughts and transports you into another world. Whether it’s the world of drama, romance, finances, education or simply someone’s biography, it’s for you to decide. As long as you are not indulging in a sobbing novel with a heartbreaking end or a horror story, there’s no risk of ruining your sleep hygiene. Something like Persuasion by Jane Austen or The Little Prince are a good start. I tried reading Capital by Karl Marx and some books on sustainability. I was asleep before I knew it.
7 Cool bedroom
I always sleep with an open window until it gets really cold outside. At which point, I don’t even need to open my window for the next few months since British homes are freezing in the winter time.
A cool bedroom coupled up with a heavy warm duvet is the best practice to doze off in minutes. A really hot room can be one of the reasons why you struggle to fall asleep at night.
8 Horror movie ban
Unless you are one of those ‘peculiar people’ who get off on horror movies and then sleep like a baby, ban horror movies from your home. I used to like scary movies as a teenager and this is how I developed my phobia of being alone in the dark.