For many sleep often comes last in their list of priorities, but as even more studies come to light on the detrimental effects having a lack of sleep can do, for both your body and mind, it’s never been more important to get enough sleep. And by that, I mean ‘good sleep’.
Between hectic work schedules and full social calendars, getting a full night’s sleep is no easy feat, especially with sleep disturbances such as work stresses, children, social media and everything in between. Often with the immense desire to get that precious rest, many of us build up a separate kind of sleep anxiety (technical term: psychophysiological insomnia). For example, your wish to sleep can become its own source of anxiety.
Through some of my most depression, I would struggle to sleep an entire night, not being able to rest or refocus. It would mean my anxiety worsened, I got unwell, I didn’t eat and ultimately began getting panic disorder. However, there are things you can do to help yourself – here are just a few tips for falling asleep at night….
- Drink camomile tea
Sleeping is my favourite thing to do but, but with the stresses of everyday life often sleep can be dropped from the priority list. It can be hard to wind down in the evenings and just relax. This is where one of my favourites, camomile tea comes in. I have a cup before bed as often as I can, about an hour before I hit the hay. It is great if you’re feeling anxious about something or if you’re just feeling a little all over the place. Have some good zzzzz’s!
Benefits: Chamomile, also known as ‘Babune ka Phal’ in Hindi, is renowned for its medicinal properties and beauty benefits. This herbal tea, along with similar varieties, such as lavender and lemon balm can be used to relieve insomnia and help to promote a healthy sleep cycle and overall wellbeing.
READ MORE: MATCH YOUR TEA TO YOUR MOOD
- Read a book or magazine before bed
There is a reason why everyone always says that reading before bed could help you fall asleep. Reading can give your mind time to rest before you go to bed, making it a great way to de-compress from the day so that you are less likely to be up all night with your mind racing.
- Get in to a routine
Getting to bed at the same time every night is a classic sleep hygiene tip, so you have probably heard this one. The trick here is to also wake up at about the same time every day, which may be particularly painful (but worth it) on the weekends and even if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep the night before.
- Keep your bedroom cool
Our bodies are best at falling asleep when we are within a narrow temperature range: between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. Experiment to find yours — and resist the urge to crank the heat up!
- Work out (but not too late)
People who exercise regularly also tend to have an easier time getting enough sleep. But the timing matters: Working out too close to bedtime can actually excite your body and make it harder to fall asleep. That means morning or afternoon workouts are usually best.
- Avoid blue light and put your phone down before 10pm
Blue light is the light emitted from everything technological, such as your mobile, the iPad, the TV, the laptop. And it can inhibit your body’s natural melatonin production. Therefore, stop looking at your phone an hour or two before bedtime and let that hormone lull you to sleep.
- Do some yoga
Doing a few relaxing yoga stretches or taking a restorative yoga class (do not do intense vinyasa flow) is enough to put your body at ease before bedtime.