Almost everyone has difficulty sleeping at some stage in their lives. Up to one third of the population may suffer from insomnia, which affects emotional wellbeing, concentration and productivity. Longer-term, the problems can escalate, leading to stress, anxiety and depression, as well as comfort-eating and even inability to cope, so it’s absolutely vital that anything more than a couple of disturbed nights are dealt with.
Sleeping Schedule is key!
In fact, it’s a good idea to get into good sleep habits even before any problems arise, as a good night’s sleep is simply crucial for all aspects of health and happiness. In order to maintain a good sleeping schedule, it’s important to consider the following points:
- First-things-first – the bedroom MUST be fit for purpose. Neither too hot nor cold, dark and quiet (black-out blinds and double-glazed windows or ear-plugs can help) and clean and tidy (who can rest surrounded by mess or clutter?). A comfortable, supportive bed and mattress are essential.
- Avoid heavy meals late in the evening, likewise alcohol or caffeine.
- Exercise enough throughout the day and consider gentle stretching exercises or yoga in the evening.
- Organise yourself for the following day. Sometimes just knowing you’re ready to face the day is key to relaxation.
- Begin a bedtime ritual. Anyone who’s had children will know all about sleep-training – well, it’s a similar concept for grown-ups. Your routine will depend entirely on you but it’s all about relaxing - getting mind and body ready for sleep. Perhaps a herbal tea, some soothing music and a warm lavender (known for its relaxing properties) bath?
- Turn off the TV (and the computer, and any technology in the bedroom – or indeed anywhere after 10pm)
- If it’s been a few days since you’ve slept well, start a sleep-diary to identify any triggers – what did you eat/drink/do/read that evening?
- Consider natural herbal remedies which can just help you drift off naturally. By using these you can alleviate sleep disturbances. Some sufferers swear by floral essences or Bach rescue remedies and aromatherapy products are often found to be useful.
- Alphawave music, designed to give the same feelings as meditation, it is very far-removed from the out-dated and ineffective relaxation tapes of old.
A restorative night’s sleep, on a regular basis IS within your grasp. Good night, sleep tight!