I have rather erratic sleep patterns to say the least. When I’m on a roll I can sleep for hours, dead to the world, oblivious to bin lorries and recycling trucks outside my window, phones, alarms, crying babies. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and more often than not I am up in the middle of the night, wandering around the house, in the bathroom, checking the front door is locked, the heating switched off, my emails……
I long to be able to go to bed at ten thirty and sleep through to eight like some kind of zombie, aka my boyfriend who does not suffer the same nightly disturbances as me. Oh to be able to switch off, to banish the questioning voices to daylight hours only. I’m not even worrying about anything in particular, I just find it difficult to turn the switch in my head to “off”.
This has been an on-going challenge for me, but over time I have managed to find some tried and tested methods that do help. So here’s my five point plan to ensure I get the best night’s sleep I can:
- Switch the computer off! If I can get all my work done and my laptop switched off by the time evening rolls around then I’m already starting to relax. I do not own a smartphone but if I did this would also be switched off.
- Try not to overeat. If you know me you will know I love my food but the last thing I want when I’m lying down to go to sleep is an overactive stomach desperately processing an excess of food.
- Keep alcohol to a minimum or abstain altogether. Yes, I know we love to use alcohol to knock ourselves out but unless I’m after the “five hour pass-out” which most certainly does not constitute good quality sleep, I give it a miss.
- Give caffeine a miss too and go for an organic herbal tea in the evening instead. Anything with valerian, hops, chamomile, lemon verbena or lavender is a good start.
- Take a long, hot bath using essential oils of chamomile and lavender, a great combination to help us unwind. Just add a couple of drops of each essential oil to a couple of tablespoons of liquid castile soap or fragrance free shampoo and add it to the running water.
What do you do to switch off? Leave a comment and let me know.