I ruined my sleep pattern when I worked nightshifts for over 3 years. The money was great and it will be the easiest job I ever had but I still feel the effects of them gruelling nights many years after my redundancy.
I put most of the blame on myself because I developed into a night owl. I used to play video games into the early hours of the morning or walk back from a nightclub just before sunrise during my partying days. I lacked discipline and my body is feeling it as I turned 30 years old.
I do have some weeks better than others but only when I’m in the right frame of mind and disciplined with my actions. Nevertheless, here are my 10 proven steps I use to get better quality of sleep.
You will struggle to sleep if your mind is racing at 100mph worrying about things you can’t control. Try to envision the best version of yourself and reminisce about happier times in your life. Slowly breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth with a smile.
Put down the devices and read a book
I’m aware electronics such as kindles use low light levels in the evening but you forget these devices also generate additional heat which you don’t in your bedroom.
I believe nothing beats a good book. Whatever you decide to use just be sure to give 30 minutes of quality reading before you sleep. Reading also helps lower your heart rate too.
I have been putting lavender oil on my pillow ever since my mum used to give it to me as a child. I rub 4 drops into each corner of the pillow before getting into bed. Lavender is by far the most popular aromatherapy choice for relaxation but by all means, try other oils.
I pray before bed because it helps calm me down. It’s a moment of self-reflection and allows me to process any thoughts or worries I might have. I feel I sleep better at night knowing I have everything under control.
Don’t eat an hour before bed
This is common sense but easy to neglect. I do admit that I occasionally binge on biscuits when watching a late-night movie but it’s doing me no favours.
Nutritionists and doctors recommend you shouldn’t eat a couple of hours before bed to prevent heartburn and other symptoms from occurring during digestion as you try to sleep. Eating late can also contribute to obesity.
Ice, Ice Baby!
A few little tricks to help cool you down in summer nights.
Put a box of ice in front of a fan, a pillowcase in the fridge for a few minutes, or ice in a hot water bottle an hour before bed. You can’t go wrong with a cool shower either. You sleep better when your body temperature is lower.
Organize tomorrow’s priorities
I sleep better when I schedule the next day’s plans. I can rest assured knowing I’m in control of the day before it’s even arrived. My mind is at ease when I have the lead.
Turn off your phone
Ignore the world including your family and friends (until you say goodnight to them of course!). In line with the electronic reading devices, I don’t want any additional heat so I switch off my mobile and leave it in the corner of the room (as I use it as my alarm).
I don’t want to be flickering through social media or worrying about events in the world I can’t control. My eyes and mind need a rest before I hit the sack y’know.