My Border Terrier Bear specialises in good quality sleep. ;)
The benefits of good quality sleep
I think most people accept the importance of sleep. However, when it comes to prioritising sleep and doing what we can to aid good quality sleep, most of us could do better.
I am very grateful to say that sleep is rarely a problem for me. Despite this I still feel the benefits of a good bedtime routine. I have been actively working on mine for the last year or so. It doesn’t always go to plan, but the more I work on it the more of a habit it becomes. As well as improving the quality of my sleep, the main benefit has been the feeling of calm that I now associate with going to bed. It’s a feeling I very much recommend!
A few simple ideas you might want to try
Look forward to it! Set aside a bit of time to clean and declutter your bathroom and bedroom. Having a clean, clear space around your bed and in your bathroom make getting ready for bed a much more appealing experience. In turn, getting good quality sleep is so much easier.
Step away from your screens! Decide on a time to say ‘goodnight’ to your phone, laptop, tablet etc. (I aim for 9:30pm every night – it doesn’t always happen but having something to aim for really helps). Cortisol is the hormone our body uses to regulate our sleeping patterns. Looking at your phone, and laptop and being literally attached to your smartwatch can play havoc with your cortisol levels. Having at least an hour of screen-free time before trying to sleep does make a difference.
Reduce your blue-light intake. As well as having screen-free time before bed, the build-up of blue-light exposure during the evening also disrupts your cortisol levels. Try using the ‘night-shift’ function on all your screens to help reduce this.
Go old-school, get an alarm clock, and make your bedroom a screen-free zone at night. If you get yourself an alarm clock, there’s no need to have your phone in your bedroom. It really does aid better sleep and, once you get used to it, allows your brain to ‘turn-off’ as it knows it can’t be disturbed during the night.
Introduce aromatherapy into your bedroom. Essential oils can be very effective when used properly. You can use them in so many ways, for example skincare products, aromatherapy diffusers, pillow sprays and roll-ons. If you want some recommendations let me know!
If you share a bed and your routine isn’t the same as you partner’s, then invest in a sleep mask and earplugs if necessary. They really can make a difference.
Make an actual routine, stick to it for a week and see how you feel. Try and factor in an hour to your evening for this wind-down process. I used to watch TV to help relax but I’ve realised that now my bedroom is a much nicer place to be, my body and mind benefit so much more from time in my bathroom and bedroom before bed.
My routine is broadly as follows. There aren’t many people that can stick to an exact routine every night but having something to aim for that you can adapt as you need to is really helpful.
Make a cup of night-time tea to drink during the evening
Put my phone on the landing to charge at 9:30pm (ish!)
Get ready for bed - shower if I’ve got time and definitely if I’ve had a hectic day or still feel a bit wired; use an aromatherapy moisturiser (at the moment I'm using the Neal's Yard Create Body Lotion with added Lavender and Geranium essential oils)
I work with many people who have issues with their sleep. If you’d like to have a chat to discuss your sleep problems I’d love to hear from you. Book in for a free 30-minute Introductory Call now. :)
I don't know about you, but this extended winter that we're having has really put me into hibernation mode!
It also seems to have put me into 'eating mode'. Afternoons at around 4pm have become a bit of a low energy point leaving me thinking about tea and chocolate.
An afternoon smoothie has become my afternoon pick me up life-saver!
They taste good, they are a great energy boost and they are full of great ingredients. My kids really like them too, so they are a winner all round. :)
I know a lot of people just chuck things in a blender and create something good, but I find I'm better following a recipe. I had to stock up on a few items, but now I have them I can have a smoothie in my hand in minutes.
My current favourites are from Deliciously Ella. The Blueberry and Banana Breakfast Smoothie, Mango and Cashew Smoothie and the Banana, Date and Almond Shake are regular 4pm favourites. The Chai Latte is amazing at any time of day and is a great alternative to coffee and the Date Shake, is perfect if you're craving something really sweet!
If you like the sound of these smoothies you can find the recipes on the Deliciously Ella app or on the website and there are lots and lots of healthy and very tasty ideas to choose from. As well as smoothies there are also great recipes for breakfast, main meals, salads, sides and sweets.