Life

Can’t Sleep? Slumber surrender guide!

Are those dark circles refusing to be covered up? Do you have more bags under your eyes than the unclaimed baggage department at the airport? We all pull all nighters whether its for a party, an all night gaming session or just chatting to a old friend we haven’t seen in a long time but what happens when you really want to sleep but you can’t?

If you toss and turn more times than a freshly caught salmon hauled into a fishing boat when you are under your covers at night you could be welcoming undesirable effects on your health. Sleep is extremely important for proper mental functioning as well as providing healing time for the body and its cells. In fact, there has been times in the past where sleep deprivation was used as a form of torture or interrogation, I’m sure it’s still happening somewhere….but let’s not go there, we already have enough things keeping us awake at night.

So with all that being said here are my tips for helping you drift into a peaceful slumber ZzzzZzzzzzzzzz!

1) Hydration:
If you are thirsty before bed or you didn’t get enough water throughout the day you will find it more difficult to sleep. Approximately 70% of the human body is made of water. It plays just as important a role in brain functioning as sleep. All energy reactions take place in water. So if you become dehydrated you will feel tired when trying to perform daily tasks and although you will feel exhausted you will still have trouble sleeping. Drink water throughout the day and also have a glass beside your bed at night. 

Also just to note that if you were out drinking alcohol, you may fall asleep easy that night, but alcohol will not hydrate you. It will have the opposite effect. This is why it may prevent you sleeping properly the night after so just keep that in mind before you go cracked!

If any of my readers are in college remember that when it comes up to your exams getting enough water and sleep is super important! I’m starting to get quite thirsty writing this so I’m just going to grab a glass now.

2) Ventilation:
Not having enough Oxygen can definitely be a problem don’t you agree? As human beings we kind of need it to, well…..stay alive. So if you are sleeping in a room that can become particularly stuffy this could be preventing you getting some shut-eye. Open a window or door just a little bit before you go to sleep. This will allow fresh air into the room and prevent the air from getting to dry or warm and keep the CO2 levels at a tolerable amount.

3) Your comfort zone:

Have a good look at your bed is it as comfy as it could be? Is there something in the room that annoys you enough to keep you awake…..no I’m not talking about himself. Is there a flashing light on a device? a hum from something plugged in? Ask yourself is your pillow comfortable? Does your mattress have a big old spring jutting out into your side when you lie down? Here is your slumber checklist!

  • Does your pillow need to be changed? Is it lumpy? Is all the stuffing bunched together like a teddy thats been hugged too much over the years? Fluff your pillows before bed at night, its also a great way of letting go of some tension from the day 😉 If that doesn’t work buy a new one!
  • If your mattress is just awful get a new one! It doesn’t matter if you are renting and that mattress came with the house they can take it for you when you get your new one. If you can’t afford a new mattress right now flip the one you have and if it still feels awful buy a mattress topper! you can find them in shops like Argos. They fit over the bed and add that little bit of extra cushioning that could make all the difference.
  • Change your sheets regularly. I shouldn’t have to say that but some people need to hear it. There is nothing more cozy than sinking in under fresh sheets. Try it!
  • Black out! No I don’t mean go binge drinking on a Friday night but Make sure your room is dark. Get a blind of a black out curtain and make your bedroom a fortress of darkness at night.

4) Since we mentioned himself (could be herself too):
It can be wonderful to have someone to snuggle at night but if your partner has a snoring problem that’s keeping you awake or does something during the night that is waking you repeatedly (Please control your rude thoughts) you may need to discuss this with them. There are plenty of things you can do that could help with snoring issues and often it can be helped simply by the person turning on their side.

If you have other problems like your partner hogging the covers then you may need two blankets! Or maybe they just need to be made aware of what they are doing. Remember that your own space is important but it shouldn’t need to be as extreme as you sleeping in the other room try and make it work.

Also remember to be considerate of each other when one of you wants a sleep in or someone wants to go to bed early. Just because YOU want to get up at 6am does not mean it is ok to go slamming the cupboard doors, throwing clothes on top of the bed or rocking the bed from side to side while you pull on your socks! Be as quiet as you can while your partner is sleeping this is their recovery time too.

5) Have a routine:
Train your brain to know when its sleep time. Have some things that you can do every night on the run up to bedtime like brushing your teeth, putting on your jammys, reading a book. Try not to get ready for bed then go on the laptop for an hour or go doing some random arts and crafts task before bed this will not help.

Also set yourself goals or a to-do list during your daily routine. Why?? because by ticking off certain things you wanted to do or by achieving something even if it was small you will feel happier and like you achieved something and this puts you in a better frame of mind for bedtime. Rather than having your mind rambling about things your should have got around to that day you can say I did these things today and tomorrow I have a new list to do.

6) Be not afraid:
This does not apply to everyone but as I mentioned in my video below some people could have problems sleeping simply because they feel afraid at night. If that is the case take steps to make yourself feel more secure. It could mean locking a door, installing an alarm system whatever small measures you can take to feel better. You don’t have to feel like an oddball for wanting to feel safe, its natural and it’s smart 🙂

Also, there are people out there who might have suffered a past trauma or who struggle with anxiety due to something that happened in their past. I understand that that is incredibly difficult to overcome and can cause you to have trouble sleeping. You could seek help by reaching out to a family member and explaining why you can’t sleep. Just telling someone could help you feel better or you could get professional help by talking to a psychologist or counsellor.

7)Relax before bed:
If you have had a hectic day take a little bit of time to wind down. Read a book, have a bath with essential oils or watch an episode of some box set you have been meaning to watch for ages (Just don’t stay up watching the whole set). Just try to do something that is not overly stimulating before sleep time.

I would also highly recommend you stay away from laptop screens, ipads, phones ect before bed. The light from those screens stimulates the brain to want to stay awake. The light….. and that pair of gorgeous shoes you want to buy that you keep going online to drool over. It doesn’t mean you can’t answer a call in the evening or send a text but when you know it’s coming up to a time you would like to be in bed close all the Apps, you can throw birds at things tomorrow.

8) soothing sounds:
There are LOADS of soothing sounds videos on YouTube as well as relaxing music and although it would be ideal for you to sleep in complete silence it can definitely help to stick on those headphones, lie back and drift off to the sound of the ocean or Tibetan singing bowls.

9)Don’t eat it!
Put that piece of cake down!! It’s 12pm and your hungry and that extra large dairy milk bar in the fridge looks so temptingly delicious but I’m sorry if you want to get to sleep then overdosing on sugar really wont help. Pick something that does not have a very high GI (Glycemic index) pick some boring Muesli, shredded wheat or rolled oats instead. I know its not what you wanted but it will take the hunger away and it will make sleeping a little more achievable.

10)Don’t pop it:
If you can at all please avoid taking sleeping medications before you try some of the above steps. I am all about promoting natural ways of caring for your body and although it might seem easier and quicker when your exhausted to go down that road at least give some of the tips a try first. Your body is perfectly able to achieve sleep on its own. Your sleeping problems could be caused by something simple that can be fixed without tablets and the less pollution we have in our bodies the better.

I hope these tips help you get some sleep and if you fell asleep while reading this well then my work here is done.

Don’t have the attention span right now for all the words on the screen my sleepy friend? well then why not Watch the video?

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