Top Tips for a Good Night's Sleep by Milly Glendinning
We are probably all familiar with tossing and turning at night, watching the minutes and hours tick by as we unsuccessfully try to sleep. Here are my top tips for avoiding this feeling of frustration and replacing it with a blissful nights rest, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and fresh for whatever tomorrow may bring:
1. Ditch the phone!
With our whole lives revolving around our mobile devices these days, it is only natural that we have developed (arguably, unhealthy) addictions to our phones. It is too easy to ‘wind down’ before bed by scrolling endlessly until we reach boredom or eventually drift off.
Research suggests that there are multiple negative repercussions of doing so. The blue light emitted from our phone screen actually restrains the production of melanin, the hormone responsible for your sleep and wake cycle. This essentially interrupts your body’s natural way of getting you off to sleep and prevents the melanin from being released as and when it should be. Thus, making it harder to fall asleep as your phone is tricking your body into thinking it is day time. Some may argue that with the blue light switched off (which many smartphones now operate as a setting), surely then it is fine? Sadly not, the endless scrolling is actually stimulating your brain, in a time when we should be winding down from all the stimulations of the day. By actively scrolling or interacting with your phone at night we are engaging the brain (even though it may feel like ‘mindless scrolling’) and thus, again, delaying sleep.
Instead, try ditching your phone an hour before bed to allow your body to destimulate and wind down before sleep.
2. Form a bedtime routine - and stick to it!
In our previous blog post about rituals, we have emphasised the benefits of creating rituals and how they can positively impact your mental health. Our bodies and mental wellbeing tends to thrive best with routine and familiarity. By creating a routine that you are repeating daily, your body will begin to associate the routine with sleep. Helping to create a healthy bedtime routine and eradicate the tossing, turning and stressing!
Consider dimming the lights an hour before bed, or switching to a soft lamp. Again giving your body the association that you are winding down for bed.
3. Try to incorporate a mindful activity before bed.
At this time when you have put your phone away and begin to get ready for bed try to take some time to reflect on your day. This could be writing down or saying aloud what you are grateful for today, taking some time to journal, or taking 10 minutes to listen to a guided meditation. Why don’t you check out our Sleep Well Collection that contains five guided meditations to help you get a great night’s sleep!
Having a set period of your evening when you can do something just for you is so important to maintain good mental health and wellbeing. Writing down or saying out your thoughts or feelings for the day is also a great way to get rid of the racing thoughts we often feel at night while we try to sleep. Instead you can rest easy knowing you have taken the time to reflect on your day.
4. And relax…
Finally, you should be ready for sleep. Get nice and cosy in bed. Switch off the lights. Relax and enjoy the feeling of switching off for the day. Embrace the quiet.
By Milly Glendinning