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31 August 2016

four quick tips to sleep better

i've always had some form of a sleep disorder, usually stemming from anxiety, and over the years i have tried many, many home remedies to try and combat the brain that never sleeps. some even work. most of them don't though, but there certainly are a few others that - once combined, i have managed to hone into a mean, green, sleep-machine combo that almost-certainly guarantees a good night's kip. if you're like me and also suffer from restless nights, but also like me, love the idea of sleeping early and lazing late, why not give some of these tips a go...

quality bedding

if you're anything like me - a cheap skate, then your sheets and bedding are probably a bit shit. they're likely the standard fitted sheets that bobble and pill after one or two washes, and the duvet set you found in the sale marked down and couldn't live without because it had a print of bunnies in floral crowns on them (legit me). don't get me wrong, a cute room is important, but not nearly as important as sheets that stay on the bed when you're tossing and turning, don't pill from constantly trying to find that cool spot on the mattress with your limbs, and a duvet set that stands the test of time because you inevitably have to spend quite a bit of your life using it.

my newest duvet set from rooi* has a 220 thread count and is made from 100% cotton satin. the good stuff, not the stuff that bobbles in cold water; the stuff that stays crisper for longer; that goes on the bed easily; that stay cool on those sticky summer nights. that good stuff. it also has a pretty floral print on it and the matching pillow cases, quality button closing to stop the late-night duvet-escape, and the slinky to the touch but not so slinky it slinks right off the bed, so you know... it ticks a lot of those very important boxes.

the right support

another one that falls into the "don't be a cheap skate" camp, but truly the right mattress and pillows will do you the world of good. when i say "right", i don't mean the one that comes with the ikea bed that's already in the room you're renting, or the pack of two pillows you grab at the check-outs at primark, but a good quality pillow with neck support and other fancy claims like anti-snore, anti-allergy, and synthetic fibers. anything less than best will go lumpy and won't support your neck in a way that encourages a good airflow to your brain, making sleep come much easier.

same goes for the mattress. tempur or chiropractic are the best by far, but yes, they do come at a price. it's my dream to one day own a deluxe mattress like that, but until then, i make do with a pretty fab combo of a pillow-top mattress topper and a foam mattress topper that adds a level of comfort and support to my ageing body when i sleep. the foam is firm but suspends to support the weight of me where i need it to, to - again, generate a better airflow and blood flow around your body. the science doesn't lie!

a comfortable climate

the weather of late has been pretty *wonderful* by day, and pretty *disgusting* by night. the sticky night air has made it harder to sleep than normal, which is pretty stressful to say the least. having lived in australia for most of my life, i've built up a repertoire of tricks to help me through the night without melting; mum never used to allow the air con to stay on through the night, so wet flannels and towels was always an easy way to stay cool, while popping the top sheet (no need for a duvet!) in the freezer for an hour or so before bed would instantly decrease the heat in the bed too. if all that fails: get a fan. it'll change your life.

white noise

the fan will also come in handy for a bit of background noise. i've tried whale song, and pan flute, and that awful static noise that tvs used to make when the station wasn't tuned in (are you old enough to remember this?), and none of those help. they're noisy, and noise is what keeps me awake. i wear ear plugs when i'm sharing a room (on holiday, etc), for that reason alone. when i'm home, i've been fortunate enough to always have a room that doesn't face traffic, meaning my outside noise is reduced. but. the slightest fox noise? a car driving past? a squabble in the street? no way, i'm awake for hours. but, with the fan on? not a peep. out like a light. it's constant background noise that doesn't change pitch or tone, and is the perfect thing to fall asleep to. try it! it's wonderful!

now that i have those four things nailed, i have been sleeping probably the best i ever have. they're not big changes, at all, and surely by this age it's important to have a comfy night's sleep and not just sleep where you fall after a night out; i like sleeping more than i ever have, often choosing an early night or morning lay in over a night out and breakfast gym session, so i figure if i'm spending more time in bed, it may as well be the most comfortable experience it can be, to encourage sleep to come more easily.

do you have trouble sleeping? i'd love to hear how you get through it?

*post written in collaboration with brand. all words are my own*

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