How to get a better night's sleep
Many things can make sleeping - or at least getting to sleep - feel like a chore. The summer heat, anxiety about work, general restlessness, too much blue light and a myriad of other things can prolong the time it takes us to get to sleep or stop us from sleeping all together.
For those of us who are struggling with sleep, a pre-sleep routine and a few tried and tested ‘hacks’ can make all the difference. This week, look no further than this article for the best bed time tips and ideas for some decent shut eye.
Being tired really helps (honestly, it’s not as obvious as it sounds)
Activities such as swimming, yoga and pilates are amazing for sleep. They help clear the mind, reset the body and tire us out. Going to bed overly alert, with a racing mind and unspent energy isn’t conducive to sleep. Some (vigorous or otherwise) exercise a few hours into the evening to get blood flowing, followed by a cool down and a series of deep stretches, are great for getting the body and brain ready for bed.
Lighting and reading should make every pre-sleep check list
Putting our phones on airplane mode, turning on a lamp and focusing on reading a book, paper, magazine or other form of printed (non-digital) word can make for a soporific atmosphere and tip us into a gentle doze. Including them in a broader sleep routine, combining with pillow sprays and candles, good blackout blinds or curtains, and techniques such as calming breathing can all work wonders.
Meditation can make a huge difference
Trying to sleep with a chattering, preoccupied and busy brain can make our efforts to rest pointless despite exhausting us even further. Taking just five minutes to do a guided meditation (meditation podcasts and tracks can be found on all popular apps and video streaming sites) are perfect for distracting us from the madness of the day, taking our minds off our worries and readying ourselves for bed.
And something a little more left of field...Hot feet in the summer are something we really struggle with. Enter ice boots - socks with slots for ice packs! We love them for cooling down and making sleeping in a hot room more bearable. Combined with a few drops of essential oils, ice boots can reduce the pressure and burning heat on our feet and relax us at the same time.
Really struggling? Try a late-night massage
Massage is renowned for its sleep-inducing qualities. If a late night massage is possible (either via a mobile such as Urban Massage or at a local spa), a deep tissue, aromatherapy or lymphatic massage have physical benefits and put us into a state of relaxation, providing the perfect conditions for sleep. For DIY massage, a combination of relaxing yoga poses, foam rollers and massage balls can have the same effect.