IF YOU KNOW ME, YOU’LL KNOW I LOVE SLEEP.
I get so disjointed when I don’t sleep I end up anxious and moody. There is literally no point in me getting out of bed unless I have had my eight hours sleep. On a trip to Morocco last year it involved a 3am start on the way out and a 6am start on the way back and I tell you now I was in bed asleep at 7pm the evening before.
For those of us who suffer from anxiety sleep is so important – it is the most important way for us to rest our brains, give our mind a break and let our bodies recoup. But did you know that six in ten people do not get enough sleep? Sleep is an incredibly important process the body must go through, and the perfect amount of sleep for most people varies between six to nine hours.
And it isn’t just the tiredness which can be a negative effect on you; it comes alongside lots of other problems such as slowing down your metabolism and severely affecting your mood. In fact, the feeling of depression is increased by 14% for every hour you miss.
Here are my top tips on how to catch those zzz’s so that you can have a restful and fulfilling night’s sleep.
1. Have a routine (to the best you can!)
Travel doesn’t make sleep easy. The early starts, general active activities, un-comfy beds, loud neighbours; but if you stick to some kind of routine you can at least attempt to trick your body in to sleeping at a certain time. As human’s, we are programmed to follow a lifestyle routine so get your internal body clock in motion.
2. Essential oils and bath time
Having a bath can be one of the most relaxing things to do, minus a massive but do it with essential oils and ta da! Why not have a bath with some lavender oil; it is a powerful essential oil that induces relaxation. It has long been used as part of spa treatment menus to relax the mind and the body. I love the brand Tisserand, especially their De-Stress Mist range, they are great and I always keep a bottle in my handbag for when I am on the go.
3. Read a book
I have started to read more in bed before I head to sleep and the book I am loving at the moment is by my idol, Arianna Huffington called Sleep Revolution. We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis, and this has profound consequences on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness. In this book, Arianna Huffington boldly asserts that what is needed is nothing short of a sleep revolution. Only by renewing our relationship with sleep can we take back control of our lives. I also love the Calm book which provides me with light reading before bed, ahead of a big day or a flight.
4. Light a candle
I have bought some great candles recently from Help Me Organics and I love the help me, it’s way past my bedtime candle which creates the ultimate relaxing atmosphere that will help you gently drift off into a well-deserved undisturbed sleep. Combining ginger, melissa leaf, eucalyptus and lavender it creates a beautiful scent that decorates your home with the feeling of tranquillity. Ginger is excellent for calming a troubled digestive system, melissa is well known to calm nervous exhaustion and slow your thoughts and eucalyptus and lavender are highly relaxing oils allowing you to drift of naturally.
5. Take a digital detox
In a world where we are surrounded by technology often the digital world comes with us to sleep too. This can in turn make it harder to fall asleep due to the blue glare emitted from most digital devices including your mobile phone and iPad. Avoid watching TV and working on your laptop or phone within two hours of your bedtime and why not charge the mobile in the corridor.
6. Exercise, or yoga!
Hit the gym a few hours before bed, never any later or if you can join a yoga class or do some DIY yoga at home. Yoga has long been used as a method to relax the mind and body and promote an overall feeling of wellness which will slow down the heart rate and rebalance the mind.
7. Change the sheets
There are something’s in life which ensue happiness and getting in to a bed with freshly cleaned sheets is one of those. Pop on your favourite PJ’s grab a book and jump straight in to bed early for some well-earned relaxation time before sleep.
8. Give yourself support
I have found a lot of refuge from Rescue Remedy over the years, and they have provided me with countless nights of sleep. Rescue Remedy, part of the Bach Original RESCUE range are flower essences, discovered by Dr Bach in the 1930s to provide support in times of emotional demand. Today, people across the world take comfort that RESCUE is by their side when they need to get the most from their busy day. Whether it’s a frustrating commute, approaching exams, a difficult day at the office, or even the demands of a busy family life, you can keep on top of your day with RESCUE.