Sleep is essential for everything from great health to looking and feeling your very best. But so many of us suffer from sleeplessness, whether it’s falling into bed exhausted and then waking up continually throughout the night, or not being able to drift off in the first place, it’s clear that the stresses of modern life are denting our chances of getting that all-important eight hours a night.
Make Time For You After 9pm
Once the kids are in bed and the last work email of the day has been answered, switch off your phone and stay away from social media and the Internet.
Hopping online or streaming your favourite TV show before bed will stimulate your brain, which in turn will see you lying awake once you snuggle up under the covers.
Instead, set aside an hour of ‘you time’ every single evening. Make it a set time that you try to adhere to every evening where you switch off. This is a sacred hour of your day which is for you and you alone, so no sending work emails (they can almost always wait until morning) or prepping for the next day. Instead, curl up with a great book, light a quality aromatherapy candle and luxuriate in the peace and quiet.
Take Magnesium Baths
We’ve talked about it before – magnesium is a brilliant natural stress buster and will help your body unwind before you go to bed. A cup of Epsom salts and a few drops of your favourite essential oil mixed together will make a wonderfully relaxing anxiety remedy that will leaving you feeling like you’ve had an at home spa treatment. Lavender and Ylang Ylang oils are both known for their antidepressant, antiseptic, hypotensive, nervine and sedative qualities. A few drops of either on your pillow at bedtime will also work wonders to help you drift off to sleep.
Make A Bedtime Golden Milk Drink
Remember when you were a kid and you’d have warm milk and a bath before bed? Well, that routine served as a signal to your brain that it was time to get into sleep mode. Having the same bedtime every night in the week is a good idea for adults too, where possible, as is having a warming, comforting drink before bed.
Here’s an easy recipe for Golden Milk, which contains turmeric – it is anti-inflammatory and calming so will banish any residual worries from the day and help you sleep.
Method: Whisk a cup of coconut milk, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of turmeric (or if you have root use about an inch, peeled), ginger (the same amount of turmeric), a dash of honey, a drizzle of coconut oil, a couple of crunches of ground peppercorns, and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavours have melded, which will be about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon. – Serves two.
Scented Candles, Cotton Pyjamas and Slippers
There’s nothing better than slipping into soft brushed cotton pyjamas and fluffy slippers before dimming the lights to enjoy some scented candles. At this time of year, you can’t beat the smell of pine candles wafting through your home. It’s the perfect time to put twinkly lights in your bedroom along with extra large silk or faux fur throw pillows. You won’t be able to walk past your bedroom without being lured in and those long to-do lists will soon be a distant memory as you find yourself curling up and drifting off to sleep.
There’s some fantastic guided meditations available online to help you drift off to sleep, or get into a relaxed state so your brain is ready to rest. Oprah’s favourite guru Deepak Chopra has put together a 4 minute one which we have added below. You can ready your mind for meditation while you’re in the bath; close your eyes and picture the water washing away the stress of the day and take some deep breaths in and out as you lie back. Every time something stressful pops into your brain, simply say out loud “shhh” and banish the thought.