Sleep Wellness: Setting the Scene
The amount of times I have woken up at 03.00 sweating after a session drinking and then struggled to get back to sleep is quite a lot, not to mention the odd uncontrolled spasm movements here and there (for the record I mean muscle spasm).
Sleep is often talked about as a must if you want to function properly and it is also widely known that when you have been drinking you can fall asleep relatively easy, or even pass out before the afore mentioned sweats! But this is the kind of interrupted sleep that does you no favours rather than the deep sleep that recharges our batteries. Therefore, I have put together the following advice to help with sleep wellness which I try and stick to myself:
6 Useful Tips For Sleep Wellness
Wind down before bed
Let’s be specific. If you have been busy at work all day, you come home cook the kids dinner, do the ironing then stick the kids to bed before doing another load of washing (breathe), before thinking “WHAT” its 22.30 and I’m up at 06.00 for work, it’s not ideal! Basically, whether you feel tired and could just collapse or not, your brain will still be working.
It’s like when you warm up before and after exercise, if you don’t do it properly you jeopardise the good you are trying to do, so try and spend 30 mins at least on the sofa with a book, staring into space or even watching TV downstairs and start your wind down.
Create a relaxing environment
You don’t need to get full on spiritual with a shrine or dream catchers everywhere but make your bedroom a peaceful and comfortable space. If you can avoid working, eating and watching TV in your bedroom, you’re more likely to fall asleep faster, as your brain will associate the bedroom with sleep. Candles in the room as you get ready for bed always create a nice relaxing feel and personally, I like to get into a made bed as it just feels nicer and as for fresh sheets…. I am tired already!
Exercise earlier and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle
If you can, exercise earlier in the day. You may think it tires you out, but strenuous exercise right before bed can keep you awake. A morning walk could help wake you up and reset your body clock. Also (and this goes for most things on wellness), try to eat a balanced diet and don’t eat right before bedtime.
Digital detox before hitting the hay
The light from our phones and tablets just inches from our face suppresses the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps us feel tired. Avoid looking at screens before bed. Not only does the bright light keep you alert, but checking emails and social media, playing games and watching videos tends to be quite stimulating – not ideal for getting to sleep. Could you do with some tech-free time? TOP TIP: If you must, some devices have a ‘night-shift’ mode, which can make the light less blinding.
Make it regular
This is one of the most effective ways to improve your chances of good quality sleep. Set yourself a bedtime and a time to get up and, where possible (I know it’s not always that easy), stick to it. Fight the temptation to have a lie-in if you’ve had a particularly bad night. And try to be strict with yourself. Ultimately, you may spend less time in bed, but more of that time should be time spent asleep.
Lay off the caffeine
Whether it’s an age thing or just that I do what I like these days whether people like it or not, I love a Horlicks before bed, but any warm milky drink or herbal tea is good. It could be that it’s just associated with bedtime but hey, it works for me. Avoid tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks for a few hours before bed. Obvious but surprising how many people still do it.
There are other sleep wellness tips I have but I wouldn’t want to tire you out now would I!!
Sleep tight…. Darren