Simple Natural Tips For Better Sleep
One of our biggest health challenges today, is the lack of enough time to rest and restore. We Brits tend to be sleep-deprived – we work all week, often late into the night, party all weekend, have other commitments like caring for children and loved-ones – no wonder there’s not enough time to get a proper night’s sleep.
Why are you still awake?
It helps to figure out what’s keeping you up at night. Here are some of the common causes…
- drinking caffeine (coffee, tea, green tea, energy drinks, etc) from late afternoon onwards
- exercising late at night
- watching TV (or working at a laptop, using your smartphone, iPad, etc) before bed
- working late into the night
- stress, worry, and having a lot ‘on your mind’
How to get back to sleep
If you’ve got problems and worries on your mind, it will be a huge help if you take steps to deal with those issues. You don’t have to solve the whole thing in one day, but even just taking the first small step can be enough to ease your mind.
When I’m in this situation, often I find simply writing everything down really helps – first of all it interrupts the thought pattern and gets everything out of my head. And secondly, most of the time, when things are on paper they don’t seem quite so scary or serious, and I can make a plan to move forward with whatever it is I’m worrying about.
Here are a few other tips which can help you back to sleep…
Create a sanctuary in your bedroom – make it a no-go area for TVs, computers, laptops, and any other electronic gizmos. To get a bit scientific about it, the light waves and energy waves emitted by this sort of equipment can interfere with our brains and interrupt sleep patterns.
Develop a going-to-bed routine – it doesn’t really matter what the routine is (as long as it’s not overly stimulating), but if you do the same things, carry-out the same tasks, every evening before getting into bed, your body will learn to recognise the routine and realise that you’ll be going to bed and to sleep soon, and so will start to wind itself down in readiness.
Sip a warm drink before bed – one of my favourites is a cup of chamomile tea with a touch of honey, but it’s personal choice so find one that works for you. I especially like this tea because the chamomile is soothing and calming, and aids sleep. Whatever you do, steer clear of caffeine.
Enjoy a warm bath – this helps to really relax the body (and mind) after a long day of hectic activity. If you add some essential oils, salts, or soothing bath oils, then the sedative effects will be greater. I love a blend of lavender, chamomile and sandalwood, which are all well-known for their relaxing and sedative properties.