Ah, the bliss of a full eight hours sleep! But how many of us actually manage that?
Or is taking ages to unwind and be able to get to sleep, waking up multiple times a night, waking way too early or tossing and turning with a busy brain your reality?
If it is, you aren’t alone. And this is something that frequently comes up in my conversations with clients and something that we always come up with a plan for. Especially during times of anxiety. So, as well as some easy self-help hand reflexology techniques, these are my top tips that I always share with my clients if they are having trouble sleeping:
- Avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours before bed and excessive alcohol. Both of these are stimulants and if you are already feeling anxious, they will only serve to raise your heart rate, adrenaline and cortisol levels. A soothing Camomile tea or two before bed or a warm milky drink are much better alternatives.
- Don’t be tempted by scrolling through your social media feeds when you’re in bed. Or in fact, just before you go to bed! This only serves to activate your brain when you really need to unwinding and calming down ready for a peaceful night. If you need to do something, try some mindful colouring, a meditation app or a good book.
- Make sure your phone is either turned off or put onto airplane mode. And please do NOT leave it plugged in and charging overnight in the bedroom either! Your brain needs time to rest and recharge when you are asleep. And this means it’s less likely that you’ll lie in bed scrolling through your social media news feed too!
- Try not to watch the news before bed. I know how tempting it is, especially when it’s on 24/7 and we always have access to news apps too but the constant accessibility of everything that is happening in the world means it’s easy to never give ourselves a break from it. It’s never relaxing, sometimes worrying and often puts ideas and concerns into your head at the one time of day when you need to be trying to leave them behind and focusing on winding down.
- Make sure your bedroom isn’t too hot. The ideal temperature is 60-67F. Your body temperature drops to help you fall asleep so a cooler bedroom temperature can help with this.
- If you find that you’re waking up in the early hours and your mind is running though everything you need to do or full of anxieties and worries, try keeping a pad and pen by the bed. Then when you wake up, scribble down all those thoughts. Just the act of getting them out of your head and down onto paper can really help.
You don’t have to try all of these at once but do try the ones you feel may help you and let me know how you get on.