Some people can just put their head on the pillow and fall asleep instantly, and I am so jealous of those types of people. For me sleep is something that I never take for granted because my sleeping is rather sporadic to say the least.
Basically I am a classic over-thinking worry wart who when stressed fails to sleep and wakes up multiple times for many hours, resulting in a dragon lady with massive dark bags under her eyes and a temper that can barely last ten seconds.
Anyway I digress...over the years I have found some things that help me nod off and stay asleep and I thought I would pass them on for anyone else who is finding it hard to get into good sleep habits too.
This helps me to wind down and stops my brain moving and flicking from one thing to another. It allows me to just slow down and focus on me and my environment.
Second: making sure I leave myself enough time to do my "bed routine". Not rushing and having that time makes me more relaxed and gives me enough time to wind my thoughts down rather than rushing through the routine and then lying in bed with my thoughts racing and going over and over stuff.
My third tip is to do something relaxing for you before bed. For me this is having a bath. Just putting that time aside to just relax having a bath and pampering myself so I feel relaxed. It helps my thoughts to wind down and to stop over analysing things and instead focusing on the present.
I also read before I got to sleep another tried and tested tip. It really helps my mind to break the chain of my thinking allowing me to relax and be more mindful when going to sleep. While when I don't read I find that my thought process just keeps going leading me to feel still very tightly wound, stressed and I continue to go over my worries and become more worried. Which obviously make is so much more difficult to fall asleep and cue me being awake a couple of hours later.
I avoid caffeine before going to bed and instead drink Clippers Snore & Peace tea. The scent alone is relaxing but it the camomile and lavender really help me to calm down and nod off.
Additionally I like to make sure my bedroom is a really relaxing environment. I like to light a candle and make sure the room is really softly lit.
I sometimes use the Thisworks sleep spray which is a mixture of lavender ..... the scent is really calming and I spray it over my pillow and sheets. It just helps me relax but I also think it helps me wake up less during the night and when I do wake up I definitely think it helps me to relax and fall back to sleep more easily.
My other tips for helping with waking up in the night are:
Do not check the clock. Checking the time just makes me clock watch and count down the hours and minutes until I have to get up which results in me feeling anxious, much more awake, frustrated and finding going back to sleep so much harder.
Just focus on relaxing not sleeping. I find that when I just focus on relaxing and think positively about how at least I am resting, it means that I find it much easier to drift off as I am nice and relaxed. While when I focus on wanting to sleep I end up almost winding myself up and get frustrated which obviously means that I fail to fall asleep that quickly.
These little things do help me sleep so much better. Stress is so hard to escape from and wind down from but it is so important to try and relax before bed.
I know none of these tips or tricks are braking new ground but I hope they help you guys. And if you have any tips let me know. I'm all ears and if you are ever awake between 2-4am feel free to tweet me as I might be awake too.