Do you dream about sleeping-in on Sunday morning to catch-up on some Zzzz’s you’ve lost during the week? Inadequate sleep can induce or make our feelings of anxiety and stress seem worse. Importantly, sleep helps us fight off infection. When sleep is of poor quality it can impair our immune response. In addition, poor sleep might result in 'flare-ups' of other chronic illnesses/diseases. Our team has curated some valuable tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Even light exercise has been proven to promote better sleep. You could try going for a short walk or a dip in the pool, play with your dog (or your friend’s), even ‘turn it up’ and dance in your bedroom! (Thnx Lizzo) If you’re going for something a little more intense like hot yoga or cardio workouts then aim for earlier in the day for best sleep results. Make sure that you do something fun and have a laugh during the day. Laughing is great exercise for the cheeks right?
Put the phone on charge (and away from your bed), try not to watch tv in bed. Digital screens are proven to mess with the production of melatonin, our natural sleep regulator. Instead pick up a book and feed your imagination. Don’t be surprised if it’s so relaxing you’re fast asleep before the end of the first chapter!
Remember the routine when you were little; play, bath, dinner, a little tv, brush your teeth, bedtime story and then sleep. Childish you say? The thought of a nightly routine might seem a little boring - but it doesn’t have to be! Get into the habit of switching-off the moment you step inside after a day at work or play. Take off your makeup, enjoy a nourishing dinner around the table with family or friends, relax and unwind, shower and moisturise your skin, slip on clean pyjamas and get into a nice comfy spot in bed. Now, see step 2. (Oh and don’t forget to brush your teeth!)
There are a number of natural sleep remedies which can help to create a calming atmosphere before bed. Lavender oil contains small amounts of melatonin which assists in creating a deeper, longer sleep. Add a few drops onto your palms, under your pillow, or in a bath mixed with Epsom salts to de-stress after a long day.
Emotions and concerns are probably the biggest culprits for keeping us awake or not sleeping peacefully. If you have specific concerns, try to deal with them before going to bed. Simply talking to someone you trust about your worries can often help. Get some advice from a trusted person who might be able to help you solve the problem. Social distancing does not need to equate to social isolation.
Sleep is like a butterfly. You cannot reach out and catch it. If you stay quiet and still, the butterfly will come to you. It is the same with sleep. You cannot force yourself to go to sleep, so do not try. Simply allow yourself to be relaxed and quiet, and sleep will come to you.