Many of my clients continue to tell me that they don’t sleep well – either they wake up and can’t get back to sleep or they just can’t get to sleep at a reasonable time. I hope these tips help.
Good quality sleep is one of the primary success factors for being productive. However, we often forego good sleep for other things. I’m not talking about the occasional all-nighter before a big deadline or partying with your friends; I’m talking about the regular things we do that stop us going to sleep at a reasonable time.
What to do leading up to bed time to ensure a good night’s sleep:
- Go to bed at a time that means you get 7 to 9 hours sleep according to your preference
- The bedroom should be a sanctuary for only a few activities, for example, reading a book, sleeping or amorous cuddling
- Do not do any work in the bedroom – that includes reading emails on your phone or other smart device
- Do something relaxing in the 30 minutes before sleep (read a physical book, meditate) – it is better not to use technology of any kind in this final 30 minutes, including watching TV
- Make sure you exercise earlier in the day rather than leading up to bed time
- No electronics in the bedroom – if you must have a device in your room, turn it on flight mode and do not have it plugged into the power
- Put a notepad beside your bed so that you can capture any great ideas during the night or first thing when you wake up
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, try these tips:
- Deep belly breathing and counting. Do whatever pattern of ‘in’, ‘hold’ and ‘out’ breaths you like. The breathing is relaxing and the counting gives your brain something to do so that you are not thinking. Repeat this until you are asleep
- Make sure you’re not too hot (and by that I mean temperature – of course you’re too hot in other ways!)
- Have comfortable pillow/s you love
- Meditate – my favourite app is a free one called Yoga Nidra. It’s by an Australian guy and I don’t think I’ve ever heard the end of it (and, yes, it works with the iPhone on flight mode); other apps include Calm, Omvana, Headspace, Smiling Mind – check them out
- Consider any physical things that may be hindering your sleep. For some people a magnesium deficiency makes sleep difficult, and is easily fixed with supplements
What to do if you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep:
- If the reason you are awake is some kind of mental activity (ie it’s not because you are in physical pain) then lavender oil is something I recommend. I use an aromatherapy spritzer my sister makes that has lavender and roman chamomile (amongst other things). I find it soothing to spray it around the room and on my bed.
- Use that note pad beside the bed to jot down any ideas you have or things that are on your mind (don’t worry about turning the light on – just write it out).
- If you’ve been awake for ages and just cannot stop your brain, get up and leave the bedroom. Go and do something (preferably not something with technology). Make a soothing cup of herbal tea, go sit in your favourite chair and read a book for a while or anything you find relaxing.
I hope these tips help. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your own suggestions to add to my list.
Here’s to beautiful restorative sleep.