The Importance of Sleep, and how to get more!

Sleep is one of my big issues – I never seem to sleep deep enough, I never sleep long enough, and getting to sleep in the first place is a big challenge. I’ve always had trouble with my sleep patterns…I remember suffering from insomnia for a while in my late teens and spending all night either reading or talking to friends in different time zones online, just because I couldn’t get to sleep at all. After getting glandular fever, I seemed to do a complete 180 – sleeping for 14-16 hours a day (or even more when I first became ill!) because I was just that tired. As I got better, my sleep issues didn’t – the doctor said it’s something to do with my sleep cycle and how I don’t go through the proper stages of the sleep cycle.

So, as sleep (or lack of it!) is so important to me, I’ve been trying to help myself with plenty of natural remedies and tips. Healthy living and wellbeing is a big passion of mine and I’m always researching and reading up on things to nourish and energise my body naturally, so these are the things I’ve been trying to incorporate into my daily routine to try and improve my sleep:

  • Sleepy Tea before bed – I drink a lot of green tea, peppermint, and nettle tea throughout the day (and coffee!), so before bed I want something that will help me sleep, not add to my problems. I currently love Clipper’s Snore and Peace tea, which is a lovely blend of Organic chamomile, lemon balm and lavender. They each come individually wrapped and I love having a hot cup of this before bed. It’s so relaxing!
  • A bedtime bath – not only is a bath super calming and will melt away any stress from the day, the rise in blood pressure and body temperature from the hot bath followed by the drop when you cool down and get out the bath really helps in making you feel sleepy. Add some essential oils such as lavender, or choose an aromatherapy filled bubble bath to add to the relaxation.
  • Talking of aromatherapy, I love my SOTO Aroma Diffuser which I fill with water and a few drops of lavender and leave running in the evening – it fills the bedroom with scented, ionised mist. It’s lovely to get into bed with the fragrance drifting around the room, and the colour changing lighting is also really relaxing. If you’d rather, you can buy aromatherapy sprays for your pillow, or roller balls for your skin, all designed to relax you and send you off to a deep sleep. I love the diffuser as it makes the air feel light and fresh too, not just the scent.
  • Relaxing before bed is another great tip – turn off the devices, games consoles, computers…netflix! I’ve recently got into colouring books which I find are great to unwind with in the evening. Journalling and meditation is also a peaceful way to end the day, reflect on what you’ve achieved, plan for tomorrow and feel grateful.
  • I’ve been using Better You Magnesium Oil Goodnight Spray for a while and I really find it gives me a better night’s sleep on the evenings I use it. Magnesium is one of those nutrients that so many people are deficient in, and if you find yourself suffering from cramps, you’ll probably find a magnesium supplement really helps. They sell a normal Magnesium spray, Sport Spray but I use the Goodnight version which is enriched with essential oils for that extra relaxation.
  • Yoga is also great before bed – a calming sequence is a great way to relax your body and mind, and nothing feels better than a good stretch after a long day!
  • Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and wellbeing, and it’s also a great way to improve your quality of sleep. Research says that exercising in the afternoon brings up your body temperature and then brings the temperature down over the next few hours, making it easier to fall asleep. I know I’ve always slept better when I’ve vigorously exercised during the day.

These are all things that I’m incorporating into my daily routine in order to improve my sleep. With the busy Christmas period just passed, my sleep pattern, diet and exercise plan has been a little erratic, so I’m looking forward to getting back on track and feeling ready to take on the world!

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