Sleep better: 10 tips to beat insomnia

Sleep better: 10 tips to beat insomnia

Insomnia is very tough and can effect your life significantly. Just when you think you've finally fallen asleep you bolt awake at 3am and can't drift back off or maybe you couldn't get to sleep in the first place. 

There are so many sleep myths out there and we’ve researched 10 tips to help you sleep better.

 1. Keep your bed for sleeping only

It's tempting to use your bed as a dining table, reading nook, office, entertainment space and more! Unfortunately this sends mixed messages to your brain and this can cause you to have difficulties with sleep. Keep your bed for sleeping only, move your devices, books (and snacks!) out of this space.

Our brains are “switched on” so much during the day with electronic devices and research shows that this inhibits our ability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.

Research shows that the natural production of melatonin is interrupted from the blue light emitted by technology devices.  Melatonin is a hormone that enables sleep.  Low levels of melatonin can affect your circadian rhythm. 

2. Try our Natural Sweet Dreams Lavender Spray

Our Sweet Dreams Pillow Spray is blended with calming lavender to support relaxation and peaceful sleep.  It is formulated with the finest lavender that we could find that smells divine and is the perfect salve for a good night’s sleep. You can spray it on your pillow and also use it as a room or linen spray.

 Lavender is a well-known folk remedy and has been clinically proven to enhance sleep quality and to help you sleep.

 3. Sleep before 12pm is the most valuable kind

The body is replenished in the 90 minute period before midnight according to Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, a sleep expert, physiologist and speaker. She says “It’s rejuvenated on every level – physically, mentally, emotionally and, I believe, spiritually as well. There’s a lot of healing that takes place in that first phase of sleep. It’s also a really important phase for reorganising the brain.”

 4. Kick the caffeine

Coffee may well be the elixir of the gods, but it is probably not helpful for getting a good nights rest. Try lowering or swapping out your caffeine rich drinks, or try not to have any caffeine containing beverages after a certain time, e.g., late afternoon.

One study found that your sleep time may be significantly impacted by consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime.

 5. Declutter your bedroom

A tidy space can equal a tidy mind. Keeping your bedroom free from clutter can help you to focus on what you are there to do - sleep! Research has shown that decluttered rooms can affect the quality of sleep.

Consider other ways of making it  as conducive as possible to sleep. Some ideas could be, cosy throws, indoor plants and to make your bed as comfortable and inviting as possible. 

6. Meals before bedtime

Whilst we are all individual in what our body can tolerate, there are certain foods and drinks that can affect your sleep.

This article provides examples of some lifestyle diets that have been found to improve sleep quality.  It’s a great articles that also talks about how when we are sleep deprived we are more likely to choose foods that are less nutritious which can affect our overall health and wellbeing.   

Giving your food plenty of time digest from a heavy meal before going to bed also helps with a good night’s sleep.  Research has shown that eating a heavy meal close to bedtime may affect sleep quality.  However the timing of this will depend on each individual and any health issues they may be facing and a small snack before bedtime may be beneficial.

7. Gratitude

Gratitude and being content of all that is going well in your life can lead to a good night’s sleep.  A recent study in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being  (led by psychology professor Nancy Digdon) found that students slept more soundly and quietened their minds when writing in a gratitude journal before bedtime.

Another study on over 400 participants by researchers at the University of Manchester found that gratitude was associated with falling asleep faster and having a better quality sleep.  The researchers found that gratitude led to less negative thoughts at bedtime and led to having more positive thoughts as they drifted off to sleep.

8. Daylight exposure

Research shows that light exposure  helps with sleep quality and also how long we sleep for. Our inner body clock instinctively aligns with the phases of day and night.  Getting light exposure during the day  (especially early in the day) helps keep our circadian rhythm aligned which helps promote sleep quality.

Sunlight assists your body in making the hormone called serotonin.  According to research, this hormone is beneficial for your wellbeing and stimulates areas of the brain that influence the sleep-wake behaviour.

9. Taking a warm bath 

Body temperature can effect your sleep-wake cycle according a study undertaken.  It helps lower your core temperature and assist you in unwinding and falling asleep faster.  Whether it’s a warm bath, shower or even a foot bath, it’s another step to a blissful night’s sleep.

10. Breathing techniques

Simple breathwork and mindfulness techniques or even your own meditation practice can greatly assist in relaxing the mind before bedtime and help you drift off into a peaceful sleep.  There are so many wonderful resources, apps and teachers around in 2024 that we can choose what resonates with us the most.  One particular study (and there is much more research in this area) found a close relationship between breathwork before bedtime and sleep quality.

 

Enjoy the best sleep of your life! These are just 10 tips that may assist you in falling asleep.  There are many more books, internet resources and professional health advice that can also help.

DISCLAIMER.  This article is not meant to replace advice from your health professional.  If you have any health issues, please refer to your health care professional for correct diagnosis and professional care.

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