The benefits of good quality sleep
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
- 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!
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol after dinner. Find a more relaxing drink for the evening to aid sleep and help keep your body hydrated. My favourites at the moment are the Pukka Night-time blend or Echinacea and Elderberry blend.
- 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!)
- Start the relaxation aromatherapy side of my Lumie Bodyclock Alarm clock when I go upstairs
- 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)
- Read for a while
- Put Bear & Edie to bed downstairs
- Spritz my pillow with Goodnight Pillow Spray and check the alarm is set for the morning
- Turn out the light
- Sleep soundly till morning!
Still not sleeping well?
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