Monday, 8 June 2020

Simple Ways To Sort Out Your Sleep Struggles

If you've ever struggled with sleep, you know how frustrating it can be to try to fall asleep. Your brain spends hours running through your thoughts, or you wake up in the night. When you eventually wake up in the morning, you feel like a complete fatigued zombie and not ready to tackle the day. Fear not, you have a lot more control over your sleep than you might think. I have a few simple ways to sort out your sleep struggles.

Girl with a book over her face. The book has a picture of closed eyes and zzz sleep in a post about tips to sort out your sleep struggles.

"Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together." — Thomas Dekker

Sleep is essential to our wellbeing. One of the main functions of sleep is that it's the time when our bodies can repair, remove toxic waste and create new neural pathways. 

Up until recently, I used to have problems sleeping. I would either struggle to get off to sleep, or I would fall asleep and wake up at least once in the night. Usually, at 4am! Rarely would I ever feel I'd had a good nights sleep. It really started to affect my mood and productivity. Cue grumpy Helen (sorry Dan) and I really struggled to focus on work. I would count down the hours until bedtime, yet I was met with just another rubbish nights sleep.

Yet with a few changes in habits and sleep hacks, you can quickly adopt some simple ways to sort out your sleep struggles.

Here are a few simple ways to sort out your sleep struggles, to sleep better naturally, fall asleep faster and most importantly, stay asleep.


Lifestyle

Perhaps the first place to look and the most straightforward ways to sort out your sleep struggles is to look at how your lifestyle may be impacting on your ability to get a restful nights sleep.

Anxiety, stress or poor diet, combined with our technology-driven and hectic lifestyles are often at the root of most sleep problems and why we can't sleep.

What you do during the day can have an impact on your sleep. I found stress and anxiety were having a massive effect on my sleep pattern.

I'm really trying to work hard on relaxing in the hours before bed. Although yes, it's easier than it sounds. If I feel anxious, I have started to write my thoughts down, whether it be in my journal, writing the blog, or just on a scrap of paper that I will rip up when I've finished.

Maybe also try to incorporate yoga or mindfulness breathing into your routine to create a sense of calm.

Taking a warm relaxing bath 

Taking a relaxing bubble bath before bed, perhaps even better with a lovely scented bath bomb or a candle can be incredibly relaxing.

The warm water can also sort out your sleep struggles because our body temperature also tends to drop after a warm bath, which can help to induce sleep.

Bedtime Routine

It's easy to underestimate how powerful establishing a sleep routine can be in helping to sort out your sleep struggles.

Figure out how many hours sleep you actually need, then you can decide what time you need to be in bed to get up at a particular time. Getting into a routine can really help your body know when it's bedtime.

I never used to think about it, and I would go without a decent sleep during the week and then sleep in at the weekend. Cue Sunday night syndrome! Now, I aim to go to bed at around 10pm. I will still set the alarm, so I intend to get approximately 7-8 hours of sleep, which I've found is about right for me.

Lady reading a book in bed in a post about tips to sort out your sleep struggles.

Avoid stimulants 

One of the best things you can do is avoid stimulants such as tea, coffee and alcohol for at least two hours before bed, but the longer, the better.

Instead, try a lovely herbal tea, I've tried a few, but the Sainsbury Bedtime Infusion Sleep Tea tastes nice and seems to do the trick (not sponsored, I just really like it).

Lady's hand from under the duvet turning off her alarm in a post about tips to sort out your sleep struggles.

Switch off Technology

Try to avoid screens at least an hour before bed.

I've been turning the sound off and putting my phone face down. Just having a quick peek at notifications before bed. I try to avoid engaging in anything too exciting I've spotted online. Unless it's essential, I make a note to check it out in the morning.

Bedroom ambience 

Make sure your bedroom environment is conducive to getting a good nights sleep. The room should be dark enough, with a pleasantly cooler temperature, quiet and comfortable.

Make sure your bedding is right for you. Make sure your pillows are soft and try variations of sheets, duvets and a blanket if you find you get too hot in the night.

I always spray my pillows with a lavender spray just before I brush my teeth, so it has time to dry. I've only just run out of the This Works Deep Sleep spray, but I've made my own replacement by adding a few drops of lavender oil to argan oil into one of those holiday spray bottles.

Read a book

The final way to help to relax and sort out your sleep struggles may be to read a book before bed.

If you find reading relaxing, why not incorporated it into your bedtime routine.

Although perhaps initially avoid something that stimulates your mind too much. I'm a massive fan of thrillers, but I avoid reading them just before bed as they over-stimulate my brain, and I start having weird dreams.



What do you do to help you sleep?
Lots of love,
Helen x


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26 comments

  1. I adore this post Helen! I recently moved house and I have loved making our bedroom a relaxing, safe space to encourage sleep. We only have a shower in our new home and my goodness I miss relaxing in a warm bubble bath!
    Love Casey x
    www.casestreetx.com

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you are settling into your new home :)
      Helen x

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  2. I always find myself on my phone right before sleep, I'm going to try to leave it face down and do some reading from now on instead! Thanks for sharing x

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    1. Aww thank you. Hope that works for you x

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  3. These are some really awesome tips. It's so important to try and do the things you can in order to get better sleep, as sleep itself is so important! I love taking a warm bath and having a herbal tea before bed, and do yoga every day to help keep myself calm and relaxed. They are really great ways to get a better night of sleep :)

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    1. Thank you! I really need to get back into yoga as it so helpful to aid a good nights sleep x

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  4. Really good tips there! I always sleep much better if I spend some time reading before I go to sleep or listen to an audiobook. I think it stops me from overthinking real life things which is a very bad bedtime habit!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, reading is definitely a good way to stop the overthinking! x

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  5. I've had issues with sleeping before! I used a sleeping mask, lavender scented things and a cooling pad that I put on my pillow to help me get to sleep!

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    1. Aww no. Hope you're sleeping better now and you found something that works x

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  6. Reading a book before going to bed really helps! I try not to get too engaged with the book, though, or it will only make me want to stay awake to continue the story. So I read nonfiction to help put me to sleep. Turning off the notification sounds on the phone also works wonders! Thank you for sharing this, Helen. <3

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  7. You're very welcome! Oh yes there is nothing worse than notifications when you are just drifting off to sleep is there x

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  8. I find having a routine really helpful, doing some exercise or Yoga before bed and definitely reading! x

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  9. I really need to try to getting back into yoga again. Such a relaxing sleep aid! x

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  10. Switching off technology before bed is especially hard for me because that's usually when my hubby and I watch Tiktok videos together before we go to sleep! Maybe I should give it a go every now and then...

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    1. Sounds like you're using the technology to relax and have a giggle together, which is good :) x

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  11. Fantastic ideas for ensuring we're getting adequate sleep at night and relaxing!

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  12. Taking a bath is the perfect way to get into the sleepy, before bed-time mood. I love doing a little personal writing or reading a chapter in my current read. :)

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    1. That sounds like the perfect bedtime routine Jaya :) x

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  13. Some fab tips here, Helen. I find if I go to bed around midnight then I tend to sleep through until around 6am, which seems to be sufficient sleep for me. Any earlier and I wake up around 3am and can't get back to sleep. I agree, working out what you need is the first step to trying to ensure you can get it! Lisa x

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  14. Yes, definitely. I would love to start edging my routine towards getting up at 6! Helen x

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  15. I've noticed that on days where much happens I'm a bit restless at night. So this is wonderful to lower the rhythm and relax.

    Lindifique

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    1. Definitely, your mind just needs that time to switch off doesn't it? x

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  16. Thanks for sharing, I have been having a few sleep issues at the moment, hopefully these tips will help :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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  17. It's horrible when you can't sleep, isn't. Hope they help x

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