Preparing For A Better Night’s Sleep
From the occasional restless night to something closer to insomnia, those nights when sleep is all we want but can't seem to get can be, in the most literal sense, exhausting. Sleep is a foundation of our wellbeing, and while some of us need it less than others, we all need rest to be our best selves.
'Sleep hygiene' might conjure images of clean bedsheets and fresh air, but it's a term from the 70s referring to the environment and behaviour surrounding healthy sleep. Consistently practising sleep hygiene could help improve your ability to fall asleep. It also offers some helpful tips for when a sleepless night hits those who aren't used to it.
Daytime habits to improve sleep
- Make your bed in the morning. Not only is this small achievement a great way to start your day, but coming home to a neat bed can also help set you up for a more relaxing sleep.
- Get as much daylight as you can in the morning. This tells your pineal gland it's time to wake up and helps set your body clock.
- Form associations between your bedroom and relaxation. Try to limit activities in your room to sleep and intimacy; watching TV, exercising or doing other stimulating activities near where you sleep can confuse your brain and body and make it harder to wind down.
- Avoid long naps during the day. A 10-minute lay down is often more refreshing than a longer nap, as it allows your body to rest without entering deeper sleep and feeling groggy when you wake up.
- Exercise daily, but leave enough time between exercising and sleep to cool your body down. It is harder to sleep when overheated.
Bedtime rituals for better sleep
- Try to switch out wind-down activities that involve blue light for ones that don't. Make a habit of reading or journalling over watching TV or scrolling socials.
- Avoid stimulating activities for at least one hour before sleeping. Reading is better than looking at a screen, but even better yet could be meditation, stretching or some form of mindfulness.
- Don't try to sleep before you're tired. This can lead to time spent lying awake, which can reinforce poor sleep habits and insomnia.
- Make your room a comfortable place. If you haven't made your bed that morning, make it before getting into sleep. Find your preferred combination of fresh air, sheets and blankets to create the right temperature for you.
- Consider naturally calming aromas like lavender or chamomile essential oils.
- Make the room dark. Light can prevent your pineal gland from producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
- Use RESCUE Sleep® to help quiet worry thoughts and relax at bedtime.
Tips when struggling to fall asleep
- Focus on your breathing. Allow thoughts to come and go as you focus on the rise and fall.
- Tense and release your muscles one by one.
- If you're still awake after 20 to 30-minutes, get up out of bed. Try moving to a different room and stretching or reading. Try to avoid turning on too many lights.
- You can take RESCUE Sleep® as needed while trying to fall asleep.
RESCUE Sleep contains White Chestnut, traditionally used to relieve worrisome and persistent thoughts. If a noisy mind keeps you awake at night, you may also benefit from stress-relieving habits during the day, like RESCUE Remedy®, or speaking to a health care professional, sleep clinic or mental health expert.
We wish you sweet dreams and more ZZZs!