Making some simple, effortless changes to your day to day life can have a knock on effect with the quality of your sleep at night time.
Older you get the more difficult it is to sleep
Being a light sleeper myself, I’ve had to make a conscious effort to ensure a sound sleep. Here are a few of my own tips as well as some that have been passed on. As we get older our brains produce less of the natural sleep hormone, Melatonin. The phrase ‘slept like a baby’ comes from the knowledge that babies produce very high levels of melatonin and therefore can fall asleep more rapidly than adults.
Go to bed at the same time every night. Yes, hard at first but if you stick to this it can have amazing results.
Have bedtime triggers. Having a bath or a quick shower and changing into your ‘comfy’ clothes can help your body to relax.
Drink a small glass of Milk. Typotophan is an amino acid found in milk. It can help to reduce stress and calm our bodies. Slightly heated milk can add to the induction of drowsiness. Why not add a blob of honey to make it taste delicious.
Bathing. Lavender oil not only smells relaxing but can help relax the body. A couple of drops and no more (too much and it can have the opposite effect) added to a bath is a lovely routine. If you don’t have a bath simply mix a couple of drops of lavender oil into a small amount of olive or almond oil and rub into the soles of your feet. Your feet have so many nerve endings in them that this is a wonderful way to release oils into the body. I also highly recommend applying Vicks Vapor Rub this way too if you have a bad cold. It will help you breath at night.
Herbal teas. Peppermint is a good one as well as others. Please research to see which suits you best.
Tart Cherry Juice. A sleep remedy used by night shift nurses and long haul airline crews, this is an amazing 100% natural sleep aid. Specific cherries used to make the juice contain high levels of the sleep hormone Melatonin. Advised to drink 1 glass around 1 hour before going to bed, after a period of doing this routine the juice will literally knock you out. I can’t recommend it enough. While having had the worst pregnancy with my first daughter I decided to do all I could to aid my sleep during my second. I started drinking this juice as advise (hot or cold) at around 20 weeks into my pregnancy and even at 40 weeks, I was only getting up once a night. An hour after drinking, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Available at Health Food shops.
Create a cozy environment. Ensure your room is free of clutter. Change your mattress and pillows if needed. Wash your sheets regularly. Getting into a bed of clean, crisp sheets initiates a relaxing sleep.
Make sure your room is dark. Having a dark room automatically alerts the brain of it night time.
Room temperature is important. If your room is too cold or too hot this can an avert effect on getting to sleep.
Prepare the Brain
Wake up at the same time every day.
Prepare for the following day. Make a to-do list and leave it on the kitchen bench. Then you know your going to bed prepared for the following day and you can totally switch off.
Avoid alcohol right before bed. Having a night cap can have the opposite effect.
Have a light snack. A banana, bowl of cereal or yoghurt can aid sleep.
Learn how to manage your thoughts. Don’t worry. Try deep breathing. Get as much oxygen into your lungs and then out again as possible. I even get my 3 year old to do this and it is the only thing to get her to relax after a big cry at night time. So works on all ages!
Don’t lie in bed awake. Either get up and do a light activity or switch on your light and read a chapter of your book. There is NO point lying awake worrying. Not advised to all but if I can’t sleep I get up and do some work. After an hour I’m back to bed and crashed out again.
Find at least 10 minutes a day to just be you and live in the moment. Whether that be a cup of tea in a quiet place, a walk round the garden or a lie down. The present is just that, a present.
(images via various sources google.com/images & pinterest.com)