For as long as I can remember I’ve suffered from insomnia and looked for ways to relax before going to bed. I remember as, a teenager, lying in bed wide awake into the early hours and then finding it impossible to get up in the morning.
It continued into adulthood and some nights, I’d only get a couple of hours sleep. Then crawl into work (late) feeling foggy and exhausted.
There wasn’t a reason for it. I didn’t have anything on my mind. I just couldn’t switch off and I still struggle to now.
In collaboration with Ergoflex.
Emigrating to Australia from the UK didn’t help much. As I was going to bed, my UK friends and family were just starting their day. I felt like I might miss something!
It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am or how much fresh air I’ve had, some nights, I just find it really really hard to relax before I go to sleep. Through my treatment for Breast Cancer I was given sedatives to help me to relax and sleep but my body fought against them. I don’t know why, I would have done anything to sleep and heal!
There are a few things I do though that really do help me relax before going to bed and give me the best chance to have a good night’s sleep. Whilst I’ll never be that person who can sleep the moment they close their eyes (I’m so envious of them!), I do sleep better if I do these things.
How to relax mind, body and sleep better:
5 Ways to Relax before Bed
1. Turn off my phone
I’m so tempted by my phone and it’s with me almost every second of every day. I’m either blogging, on social media or playing Best Fiends (so addictive!) and the temptation to keep picking it up is often too much.
So I’ll either turn the phone off altogether or put it on silent and turn it away from me so I can’t see any notifications or flashing lights. I’m not proud to say that I’m addicted to my phone and the surge of social media in recent years has done nothing to help me on the ways get to sleep.
During my first pregnancy I discovered hypnobirthing and it changed my life forever. It’s the process of putting yourself under self-hypnosis to allow your baby to move down your body comfortably and can be used in so many other situations as well as childbirth.
I sometimes still listen to my Marie Mongan affirmations or self-hypnosis mp3s because they really help me to relax and unwind before bedtime. I also have a couple of meditation apps on my phone that I listen to when I go to bed and they help me to relax, clear my mind and drift off to sleep while they’re still playing. I’ll always turn my phone away from me so that I can’t see the screen though – see point 1!
This is one of my favourite tips to get to sleep and breathing techniques for sleep work for many people.
3. Get comfortable
For years I bought the cheapest mattresses and just couldn’t understand why people would spend so much on one. I would buy expensive bed frames that looked gorgeous but I’d wake up in the morning with a bad back and a wakeful night trying to get comfortable on a poor mattress.
When I think of the amount of money I’ve spent over the years on osteopaths and chiropractors, I wish I’d invested in a better mattress much sooner!
Last year I finally bought a really good quality mattress and my sleep and how I feel when I wake up has improved drastically. The difference to the way the mattress feels is amazing.
I recently spoke with Matthew White from Ergoflex about how to get good sleep! Ergoflex offer an affordably-priced memory foam mattress in a box and pillows that are available to buy online at the Ergoflex website.
Matthew, who has written about sleep related matters for seven years now, told me that better sleep is about a taking a holistic approach.
“It’s about improving your sleep environment and about training yourself to be a better sleeper”, Matthew said about how to make yourself sleep easier.
He went on to say that you need to first create a bedroom you never want to leave. A room with a relaxed ambience, regularly cleaned sheets, pitch black when the lights go out and zero noise pollution. Second, invest in a mattress and pillows that will
help you sleep comfortably and undisturbed through the night, like Ergoflex. And third, exercise, eat healthily, and drink plenty of fluids – and do it to a routine. Learn to wind down before you go to sleep. Keep your stresses outside your bedroom door, and retire your digital devices early.
I agree with Matthew on all of his points above on how to get better sleep.
4. Declutter my room
There’s something to be said for having a tidy environment helping to clear your mind! I’m obsessed with Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” (affiliate link) and if I’ve decluttered and tidied my bedroom, it’s a much more appealing and tranquil place to be.
One of my favourite tips on how to get sleep easily include having a nice tidy bedroom.
5. Write a To Do list
I love to plan and stay organised and I find planning ahead helps me to be much more relaxed. Knowing everything I need to get done and scheduling in time to do it just makes me feel more organised, rather than overwhelmed.
Then every night before bedtime, I go through my To Do list for the day, check off what needs to be done and update the list for the next day.
It means I can go to bed knowing exactly what I need to do. When I wake and not stressing or feeling overwhelmed.
There are other things to help you sleep and how to get a good night sleep that I haven’t really tried.
How do you sleep at night? Any tips on how to get to sleep?
And what are your ways to relax before going to bed?
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