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Is getting a good night's sleep something you only dream about?
WELLNESS

Is getting a good night's sleep something you only dream about?

Ahhhh, a good night’s sleep, there’s nothing better is there? Well no, but for some people, sleep just doesn’t come that easy. If you find it hard to get your hard-earned forty winks, then keep reading.

Sleep is super important. Good quality sleep helps to keep our mental and physical health in peak condition. It’s also important for our safety too, it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road when you’re constantly yawning or imagine trying to climb a ladder safely or chop vegetables with a razor-sharp knife when you can hardly keep your eyes open!

When we sleep our bodies are busy repairing tissues and blood vessels, our immune system is producing cytokines to help keep us safe from infections, our cortisol levels are lowering so our stress levels don’t go through the roof and our brain is busy sorting through all the information that it had processed that day. It sounds exhausting! But what if you have trouble sleeping? Try these ideas to help you get back into a regular sleep pattern and make the most of all the benefits that great sleep brings.

7 Tips To Help You Get Back Into Regular Sleep

1. Address the Stress!!

Often people think that they have a sleeping problem, when in fact they may actually just be stressed. When you have a lot on your mind, your body tenses up, making it extremely hard to ease into a relaxing sleep. The first step to fixing the problem is to work out what is causing the stress and address it, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds, plus, stress doesn’t always come from an obvious cause. If you can’t pinpoint a particular source of your stress, try some relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.

2. Write down a plan

If you have things on your mind, write them down before you go to bed, don’t let them linger on your mind. Make a plan of what you need to do the next day to get things done and crossed off your list. It can often be comforting just to know that you have made a start, then your mind can start to focus on getting you to sleep, rather than that thing that you were supposed to do but forgot.

3. Clean your room!

Don’t underestimate the power of a clean room. If your bedroom is a dustbowl, full of clutter or has poor air circulation, it’s not surprising that you can’t get a good night’s sleep. Give your sleeping quarters a regular clean, ensuring that there is minimal dust to irritate your nose and lungs as you sleep. Clear away clutter and unnecessary ‘stuff’ that takes up space. Weather permitting, open a window and let in some fresh air. Make your bedroom a technology-free zone, get rid of the computer, TV or bunch of phones and tablets that may be on constant charge, put it all in another room where it can’t cause a distraction.

4. Get some sunlight

Your circadian rhythm is your internal body clock linked to your natural sleep/wake cycle. Sometimes this rhythm can go out of whack and we find ourselves wide awake at night and sleepy during the day. Natural sunlight is known to have a positive impact on our circadian rhythm, basically training our bodies to be awake during the day when there is light and preparing for sleep once the sun has set and outside has become dark. Being stuck indoors all day with limited sunlight can confuse our natural circadian rhythm, so ensure to get a good dose of sunlight each day.

5. Take a moment for yourself

If you have been running around crazy all day with work, the kids, the grandkids, the shopping, whatever, then you need to take a little time for yourself. Treat yourself to a calming cup of herbal tea, read a few pages of a book that you’ve been meaning to read or simply just sit and enjoy your garden, even a simple sunset is relaxing – and it’s free.

6. Watch what you eat and drink

Watch what you eat and drink in the evenings. Tea and coffee both contain caffeine and can keep you awake with their stimulating effects. Try replacing them with a relaxing herbal tea in the evening such as chamomile or lemon balm and add a slice of lemon if you feel like being fancy.

7. Get help

Quality, refreshing sleep is paramount to good health and wellbeing. If you are still not getting enough sleep or continuously waking up feeling unrefreshed and exhausted, it’s time to get professional help. Improved sleep takes time, changes to your routine, diet and lifestyle can all help but it all takes time, be kind to yourself, get help if you need it and have patience.
Felicity Downes-Casipit
Author

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