You’re tired all day, you’re looking forward to that night when you can finally be reunited with your duvet, then when the time comes and you’re tucked up in bed you find you can’t sleep. So frustrating!
Whether you’re struggling to sleep because of stress, or a sudden life change (corona virus disruption anyway?) these tips should help you to get your sleep mojo back.
First off, getting a routine is key. Even if you’re feeling sleepy during the day, resist taking naps. This is likely to confuse your body clock and make sleeping at night even harder. Instead make sure that you go to bed and wake up at a set time each day – even if, thanks to not being at work right now, you don’t technically have to. Staying up until 3am having a Netflix binge is not good for the long term health of our sleep!
As well as having regular times for going to bed and waking up, creating a pre-bed routine can be a big help in telling your body it’s time to sleep. A relaxing bath, followed by drinking a cup of herbal tea (chamomile is a popular sleep-encouraging choice) while reading a few pages of a book is one option. Whatever you do for your bedtime routine, staying away from technology and light-emitting screens for at least an hour before bed is a must.
Another thing we can do to help our body clock and our sleeping pattern is to make sure that we’re getting some daylight each day. Even if all you can do for daylight is to sit next to an open window, make sure that you do it. We need to see daylight because it helps to trigger the stimulating hormone cortisol, and delays the release of melatonin (a hormone that makes us sleepy) until later when it gets dark.
Where you sleep and where you are while you’re awake is another important factor in helping to regulate our sleep. Try to keep your bedroom, and certainly your bed, separate from daily activities like reading, watching TV, and browsing the internet.
Finally, definitely don’t use your phone while you’re in bed (yes, we know, an easy rule to say, but far harder to abide by!). Keeping your bed as a place you go to when you sleep will help you to fall asleep quicker when you are in bed.