We all know the feeling – when you go to bed and sleep just won’t come. I have been plagued on and off over the years and have a few tips and hints that you may find helpful. Starting with your sleeping environment.
Your bedroom should be as relaxing as possible and with few distractions. So this means, no TVs or electronic devices in the room. I am strict about this rule – my husbands job is in international shipping and his customers can, and frequently do, call him at all hours. After a particularly irritating couple of nights of being woken up by his phone ‘pinging’ in the bedroom, I put my foot down and now all devices (except for kindles) are banned upstairs at night. This also helped as my children got older – they were used to the house rule of all phones to be kept downstairs.
Blue light should be kept to a minimum in the bedroom as this is very stimulating and will keep your central cortex fired up when you are trying to relax. Blue light negatively impacts the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Blue light is similar to daylight and the use of it when we should be getting ready to sleep can impact our natural sleep or circadian rhythms. Digital devices and TV’s all generate blue light.
Keeping your room as dark as possible with blackout curtains or blinds can also help to encourage sleep. You can use sunset and sunrise clocks that decrease and increase light to re-balance your sleep cycles.
Sleep studies have identified that the optimum temperature for a bedroom is between 16 and 18 degrees. Turn your thermostat down at night and open a window slightly to allow fresh air into the room. Use quilts and blankets to layer up for warmth – that way you can moderate your body temperature during the night by removing or adding as required. You can obtain card room temperature gauges on Amazon fairly cheaply.
Your bedroom should be a haven of tranquillity not a place of work or the laundry. De-clutter your bedroom so that the last thing you see at night won’t stress you or cause you to be anxious. Use candles and aromatherapy to create a comforting and sleep inducing environment. Your could try Neals Yard Calming Aromatherapy Candles or Reed Diffusers to subtly fragrance your room. Alternatively you could try essential oil blends – Aromatherapy blend – night time, includes vetiver and lavender essential oils which are known for their relaxing benefits.