it's no secret that i have a hard time sleeping. i've written post after post on how to achieve a good night's sleep, after years and years of trying just about everything i can to accomplish it without medicinal help. sadly, sometimes that's unavoidable. earlier this year i had to seek some medical respite with a bout of anxiety i was going through, that was really hard to manage alone. i've sort of always suffered from anxiety in one way or another, but this was the worst. and thankfully, the doctor's were really great, and i was prescribed something to help.
and help, it has. and now, i sleep a lot better. but, there are still nights when the insomnia returns, when there's something on my mind that stops me from relaxing; that plays on my mind while i'm trying to sleep. it's unavoidable, but, it can be managed. thanks to a few great tips i picked up recently while at a habitat sleepover event with charlie, i've picked up a few new tricks to help settle the mind when sleepytime is on the agenda.
meditation, or: special breathing techniques
i've tried yoga once, and meditation never. i'm quite the sceptic on the subject, but after speaking with lisa from super sleep yoga and practising a few of the techniques suggested by her - with a glass of prosecco in hand, i'll admit, my state of mind certainly became a lot less cloudy, and my body became a lot more relaxed. i'm not lying guys, a few simple breathing exercises have really revolutionised that time of the night where i usually toss-and-turn until my sheets are all in a mess and i'm frustrated with the fact my arms aren't removable for night-time.
the most effective of the exercises is literally one that slows down your heart rate and puts your body into a state of calm. seeing as it's my heart rate that's mostly affected by my anxiety, this one really helped me a lot; it's three counts while you inhale slowly, a pause at the top, then four counts while you exhale slowly. count in your own time, but focusing on the breathing really shifted the focus from stressing out about getting comfortable, and genuinely put my body into a state of, well, comfort.
ditch the caffeine-fix
i know, this one's pretty obvious. but, did you know that the affects of caffeine last for more than four hours? that means your morning coffee at 9am will keep you going until until lunch time, and your lunch-time diet coke will keep you going until dinner. but your dinner-time iced tea or diet coke is then also keeping you going until 11pm - or later, if you're a late eater like me. so there's another of my problems; i'm a diet coke addict, and i'm known to drink them until late in the night. weirdly, i thought i was immune to the affects, but... since cutting out the dinner-time dc, i've really noticed a drastic difference in the time of night i start to "feel sleepy". that tip came from maryanne from the sleep works, so... the more you know..
a touch of luxe
ok, so i have a shit ton of crap-quality primark fleece pyjamas taking up drawer space in my room. a lot of brushed cotton and ill-fitting vest tops, and holey hoodies that can't be seen out of the house anymore, and these are the things i wear for the majority of my days. seriously, i get in from work, and straight into pyjamas, so why hasn't it crossed my mind to buy quality things that make me feel great, rather that ratty items that do nothing but make me feel frumpy and a bit of a dag? luxry brand sundays london tell us that investing in quality lounge-wear can really change how easily you body relaxes in its surroundings, so some lush sleepwear is going on the christmas list for sure.
a place for everything
feng shui expert sylvia bennet tells us that you should try and make your bedroom as clutter-free, but as personal as possible; surround yourself with things you love, and things that make you feel nurtured, safe and happy. soothing, gentle colour schemes for the walls and curtains will create a sense of calm, as will peaceful or dreamy artwork on the walls. sylvia also suggests you keep nothing under the bed, except for soft bedding and out of season clothing. hard things under your bed can create a hard surface to relax on, which isn't ideal for a bed.
also, avoid sleeping under a sloped ceiling, beam, or a heavy hanging light directly over the bed. strangely, i used to have an awfully abstract and totally heavy light fitting above the bed. once that bad boy was removed and a paper light fitting replaced it, i have noticed a much brighter, calmer room. it's the little things, and sylvia is the expert, so i believe her. i cleared everything off the floor by my bed on friday night, and then slept 10.5 hours. so.
bed linen really can cement thr overall style of a room, and can change it all with the flick of a duvet. some like nothing more than crisp, white linen on their beds, but for me, i'm all about colour. i like centre my room the same way i sort of seeing myself: bright and colourful. the right patterns and colours can turn your bed into a work of art, so pick your bed linen wisely. accentuate with comfortable and practical throws and cushions, especially if you spend a lot of your down time in your bed. your bed - like your body, is your temple. it should be a beautiful, comfortable space for you to relax and reset, ready for the new day.
what tips do you have of your own to ensure a top night's sleep?
*the glorious bedding was gifted to by habitat, but all tips are my own*