Over the past few months I've been really struggling to get a full, good night's sleep. Whether it's because of my Restless Leg Syndrome, my anxiety or just because my mind won't stop ticking it's very annoying and frankly, exhausting. Because of this I've done my fair share of researching ways to sleep better and I've come up with a few ways to cope myself so I decided to compile all the info together for any fellow bad sleepers to hopefully help you too.
Prepare yourelf for sleep a few hours before by winding down. Take a bath, do some gentle exercise, read a book or make simple preperations for the next day. Whatever relaxes you and makes you feel ready for bed, do it.
Block out the sunlight
I've found that interference, especially light from outside, can really affect the way I sleep. Whether it's from a street light, another house or the sun early in the morning, it can be really disrupting. For me, an eyemask has been so so helpful. It blocks out the light and means that you stay in darkness until your alarm goes off in the morning. I know that some people can't sleep with something on their face, so getting some blackout curtains can be a great investment.
Switch off before bedtime
A tip you probably hear all the time, and one I didn't bother with up until recently, but one that is really important. I know how easy it is to say "I'll just check Instagram one more time..." and then end up on your friend's, cousin's, boyfriend's cat's instagram 45 weeks down their profile without realising how much time you've spent on there. But trust me, getting off your phone, laptop or tablet around an hour before you go to sleep is so beneficial to helping your mind switch off. Take the time to read a book, do some yoga or meditation, spend some time with your thought or listen to soft music.
Set a routine
Consistency is key: going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day will help your mind and body to recognise when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up. Ensure you're getting around seven hours of sleep, and if you want to change your routine make small adjustments of around 15 minutes either way.
Make a comfortable space
A comfy bed with enough room to move around in is another really helpful way to get a good night's sleep. Temperature is also really important; a slightly cool room with good ventilation is the optimum atmosphere for a good sleep.
Reserve your bed for one purpose
I know how tempting it is to lounge in bed during the day, either to finish work, watch Netflix or just to chill out, but, this can be really damaging to your sleeping routine. Using your bed only for sleep will send your body a powerful message: bed = sleep.
Cutting down and cutting out
Reducing the amount of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine you take can really help you to settle down and drift off easier. Similarly, try not to eat any big meals late on in the evening as digestion can cause you to stay awake longer.
Take care of yourself
To help you get a good night's sleep, taking care of yourself is so important. Exercise and healthy eating is good not only for your health, but your mental state too. Similarly, tiring yourself out with exercise makes for a deep sleep!
I know how frustrating getting no sleep can be and if it's becoming seriously harmful to your life I'd advise looking into getting some help. I hope these are tips are of some use to you, please share any of your own in the comments!