I've been awake since 4.30am - I tossed and turned for a while, updated my Face book status, read some emails and eventually gave up my warm,comfy bed and made a cup of tea.
Those of you who are close to me know that a good nights sleep doesn't come easily to me and never has. I'm great at giving out all the good advice in the world but taking it .....well that's a different matter. It doesn't help having a partner who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, or mid-conversation, and not wake until morning. Quite a skill!
Anyway, the good news is,I'm blogging again after a few months off pretending I've been too busy. Hopefully, this one will help other sufferers, as well as remind me of what's conducive to a good nights sleep.
OK so here goes :
Have a light snack before bed only, a heavy meal will mean your digestive system is too active to induce sleep
Have a warm bath, with candles to get the whole of you, your body and mind, in the mood. (Love this but I quite like a glass of pink fizz and some company too and this doesn't help sleep!)
Limit caffeine - apparently any taken after 2pm can still be affecting you late into the night!!
Drink chamomile tea - not peppermint which is a stimulant - to calm your system.This really works for some people.
Make sure your bedroom is dark and free of electronic equipment; TVs, mobile phones (never sleep with your mobile by the side of you, and resist texting until late into the evening!) and neon alarm clocks.
Create a routine so your mind and body know what's coming and when they can chill.
Do some yoga in the evening or gentle exercise anyway. Vigorous exercise will raise cortisol levels and make you buzz!
Try some meditation if this is your bag; switch off your mind from the business of the day.
Play some relaxing music.
Avoid alcohol ......yeah right I hear you say!! Actually it seems to help some people if they have the odd one, but shed loads will guarantee you disrupted sleep, mainly due to needing a trip to the bathroom!
Eat foods containing tryptophan, a sleep inducing amino acid. Dairy products, and chicken and turkey all contain this.
That's all very well but.... the main issues for me are what's going on in my head. If I'm not 'on top of my game' when I try to sleep I don't stand a chance. And recently this has been far from the case..................
So one of the best things I find is to do a 'head dump' - write down all your troubles, worries, challenges etc onto a piece of paper (you can do this in the dark, it doesn't have to be legible!). It helps to decrease brain activity and allow you to rest.
And thinking positively, also a challenge of mine just now, helps sleep. Pessimistic thoughts can increase the risk of sleep problems and keep your mind active so your sleep comes in short bursts leaving that awful groggy feeling the whole of the next day. Not good when you have children to look after.
Short and sweet today but I hope you got something out of it. Tonight, my phone's staying downstairs, I'll be bathing alone with candles, chamomile and lavender oil,having a glass of warm milk before bed and playing whale music in my bedroom. Oh and off loading any negative thoughts. Wish me luck!