It's 10pm, you're feeling tired, you turn off the TV and off you toddle up the stairs to Bedfordshire. You snuggle down, take that last check on Facebook, you know, just in case, and you lie down ready to refresh yourself for the next day.
3 hours later, you're staring at the ceiling, wondering if worms can smell rain or how do giraffes sleep. Your brain is in overdrive and the harder you try, the more difficult it is to fall into that elusive slumber.
There are a few things that will help you drift off, but it takes a little commitment.
1. Make a bedtime ritual
Sounds simple, but making a ritual at bed time can work wonders:
Go to bed at the same time very night. Even at weekends (parties, social engagements and Netflix binges not withstanding)
Brush your teeth before you plan to go to sleep. Brushing your teeth stimulates your brain again so you're awake right afterwards. Brush them half an hour or so before you plan to get into bed.
Try not to drink too much liquid before going to bed. If you're prone to getting up in the night to pee, making sure you have an empty bladder before bed can help.
Keep off the stimulants. Coffee goes without saying, but alcohol, whilst making you tired, actually disrupts your sleep so you don't sleep soundly.
Settle into bed and give yourself the time to wind down. You don't need to go to sleep straight away. Half an hour of wind down time is a good rule of thumb.
Make sure your room is dark and not too warm. Fresh air can help with a good nights sleep but if you live in the city just make sure your room is not too hot.
Turn the wifi off at least on your devices. For sensitive people the wifi can disrupt your sleep considerably. Better yet, turn your wifi off completely if you can bare it.
2. Once you're in bed
Reading a few pages of a book can help to make you tired. Just make sure it's not too
Do not play Candy Crush, check Instagram, check Facebook etc. The screen can stimulate your brain considerably and you want to avoid that completely
Lay down the think about how comfortable you feel. Appreciate the feel of your bed. How comfortable your pillow is. The feel of your sheets. Take some long deep breaths, in and out and let your body unwind.
Don't think about trying to go to sleep
Appreciate the time you now have to relax and do nothing
Set an intention to reset what ever happened that day. Don't dwell on it. Just intend to have a good rest and start the next day afresh.
If you wake up during the night
If you do wake up, don't look at the time.
Don't get too agitated that you're awake. Take the time to go back to appreciating your nice comfortable bed and pillow.
If you need to pee, try not to turn the light on if you can. The light can be stimulating
If you find you absolutely cannot go back to sleep, don't worry about it. Either take the time to enjoy doing nothing. After all, how often do we get that pleasure in our busy lives? If you find you're getting stressed about it, just get up. Read a book. Take your time and enjoy it. Ask yourself, is it really so bad if I'm a bit tired tomorrow? Are there things I could not do tomorrow? Things I could reschedule?
If there is something constantly on your mind
Meditation can help to calm your mind when something is bothering you. It's best to meditate in the mornings so try to make that part of your getting up plan. 15-20 minutes is all that's needed. Focus on your breath and count 10 in and out breathes before starting to count again.
Book an appointment for some you time: Massage, Reiki, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy. Which ever is your preferred method of sorting problems.
Homeopathy can help greatly with sleep disturbances. Especially when they are related to emotional issues and/or are cyclical.
Redirect your mind to something better. If there is something bothering you, pick something in your life that makes you feel happy and focus on that for a while. Thinking of something good can bring other areas into different perspectives
Is your room tidy? If your bedroom is cluttered and untidy it can effect the energy of the room. Have a good tidy up so your bedroom is a pleasure to be in
Is there a plug/socket/outlet next to your head? The electricity can disturb some people who are sensitive, so move your bed to a wall that does not have a socket
How old is your mattress? Investing in a new mattress or at least regularly turning your old one can make a big difference to a good nights sleep.
Do you suffer with your blood sugar? For some people their blood sugar can drop in the middle of the night which can wake them up. A light protein snack before bed may help
Are you eating properly? If you're lacking in essential vitamins and minerals, that can hinder your ability to sleep.
Are you de-stressing enough? If you're in constant overdrive through life, work, kids, school, etc and you're not giving yourself enough time to come down, your adrenals are on full power all the time. Take a walk, meditate, take time to appreciate, talk to friends. Sitting in front of the TV with a beer and a candy bar isn't de-stressing.
Sleep well. zzzzzz