Saturday, 16 March 2019

It Begins With Sleep

Today marks the end of Sleep Awareness Week 2019 an initiative started by The Sleep Foundation to encourage us all to learn more about the importance of sleep. This years theme "Begin With Sleep" is all about highlighting the importance of good sleep health for individuals to achieve their goals and perform best in life.

For the past few years I have struggled quite a lot with sleep. As a teenager and young adult I could sleep for 10 hours straight no problem and always made sure I got at least 8 hours. But after I turned 22 it was like something just switched in my brain. Suddenly I found myself up at night with anxious thoughts, easily disturbed by noises and always waking up and feeling like I hadn't had enough sleep. As I have been suffering more with my chronic illness which causes me a lot of pain the problems I have with sleep have only got worse. This has lead me to try really hard to get a good nights sleep and I have managed to pick up a few tips and tricks that really do work the majority of the time.

I thought today would be the perfect time to share my tips and tricks along with my new favourite PJ's bought from Sancho's and made by People Tree. These are literally the best PJ's I have ever owned, they are so comfy and cosy and perfect for a good nights sleep.

I hope you enjoy my tips and tricks. I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

1. Stop Eating

My first tip would be to stop eating at least three hours before bed. Eating close to bed time means your digestive system is still having to work and break down food when you go to sleep. This can keep you up at night with indigestion and acid reflux. Sugary foods can also cause a surge in energy which is the last thing you need when winding down for bed. It's much better for your body to have a good break before sleep.

2. Switch Off

I try to switch off all screens by 9:30pm. My phone goes on do not disturb and I try to find something other than TV to do. I pick up my knitting or a magazine or a book and relax.

3. Take A Bath

This is one of my favourite things to do each night and really helps me to get in the right frame of mind for bedtime. This is also a great thing to do instead of looking at a screen. Take a book or a magazine in with you, fill the bath with bubbles and light some candles. Create a really relaxing atmosphere and let your body totally wind down for bed.

4. Put On PJs

Putting on my cosy PJs after my bath really signals to my body that it's time for bed. I get all snuggly and warm and cosy up ready for a good nights sleep.

5. Make It Cosy

For the best nights sleep experts suggest a cool dark room with cosy bedding. I will often leave my radiator off in the bedroom to keep it cool all the time. Sometimes I will open the window before my bath to fill the room with fresh cold air. I will then snuggle up in my cosy duvet and enjoy the comfort of my little nest.

6. Read

If you're still not feeling totally sleepy yet then cosy up with your pillows in bed and have a good read of something relaxing. Choose a good book to get into for half an hour. After a bit your eyes will start to droop and your body will be signalling it's time for sleep.

7. Yoga

If you're still not feeling like you can drift off just yet one thing I have tried before is bed yoga. This 10 minute sequence is super relaxing and the deep breathing at the end can really help with anxiety you might be feeling.

8. Write It Down

If you're in bed ready to sleep but your mind can't stay still it really does help to get it all down on paper. Keep a notebook by your bedside table and write down anything that's worrying you. Once you know it's written down and can be sorted tomorrow it will help you feel less anxious. Make yourself a promise that once it's down on paper that is where is will stay until tomorrow, you can't do anything about it now so just try to take it out of your mind.



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