A lot of us could say we need more sleep. I’m afraid to say that I am guilty of saying “I’m tired” all too often. To be honest, I even googled ‘why am I tired all the time’ when I already knew the answer – I just haven’t been prioritising sleep. It’s easy to forget that sleep is a critical element of a successful self-care practice, and it’s one element of self-care that still drops down my priority list.
Sleep is so important for our physical health and mental health (and if you’re like me and comfort-shop when you’re tired it could be important for your financial health too!). Getting a good chunk of sleep each night has many benefits, including helping you to have the motivation to practice other elements of self-care.
The trouble is that even when you know the importance of sleep, it’s a struggle to actually make it happen. Sleep can often be the first thing to drop to the bottom of the priorities list when you have a busy schedule (or if you are addicted to lying in bed at night scrolling through Pinterest or Rightmove). Even if you make the time for sleep, a busy mind can stop you from getting to sleep or stop you from getting back to sleep if you wake up during the night. If you’re reading this you probably know how it feels to look at the clock at 3am and worry about how tired we will be during the day if we don’t hurry up and get back to sleep soon.
Wouldn’t it feel great to wake up naturally after a solid night of sleep feeling GREAT? I am going to share how I will be fulfilling a promise to myself to not only prioritise sleep but to sleep better.
Follow a bedtime routine
A bedtime routine is a set of activities that you perform in the same order and at the same time every night. How much time you spend on a bedtime routine is up to you and your routine. I usually spend about 45 minutes on my routine. The reason why a bedtime routine is so good for helping you sleep better is because it tells your brain that it is time for sleep. This is good for developing long-term quality sleep. Part of your bedtime routine should be switching off your screens as the light in your devices could be affecting the production of an important sleep hormone (melatonin – which you can read about on the Sleep Foundation).
Sleep in something comfy
Make sure you are wearing something breathable and comfortable so annoying nightwear doesn’t wake you up during the night.
Create a sleep haven
Your sleep can be greatly affected by your environment. A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind so create a sleep ‘haven’ in your bedroom. Tidy up and straighten things out, remove some clutter, and set out some calm scented candles and a reed diffuser (NEOM is pricey but worth it). Make sure you have comfortable bedding and you’re not going to be too hot or too cold.
Try drinking a sleep tea
This should form the first part of your bedtime routine, before you do anything else try drinking a cup of bedtime tea or sleep tea. They are both the same thing and the name will vary according to the brand. I’m currently drinking my way through a box of chamomile tea but Clipper Tea do a wonderful sleep tea which combines chamomile with valerian root, lemon balm and a few other things (including cinnamon but it is very mild).
A couple of spritzes of pillow spray or a few drops of essential oil can calm you down if your mind is feeling too busy, reduce feelings of anxiety and encourage your brain to know that it is time to sleep. I’m currently using this one from Ren but find a few drops of pure lavender oil just as effective. You could also use aromatherapy roller balls like these ones from Tisserand to add an extra layer of aromatherapy to benefit your sleep schedule.
I’d love to know if you found these tips helpful and if there are any sleep habits you use to help you get a good night of sleep – drop us a message in the comments!
Until next time