I cannot express more strongly just how important sleep is!!
I was having real problems with sleep a few months ago, I was getting into bed by 10pm every night and then I would toss and turn until around 3am and would be up by 7am. After only 4-5 hours sleep I was then exhausted all day, so found it really hard to get on with things and motivate myself during the day. I was advised by different people with what to do and I have made a list of seven different tips that may help you if you are struggling, so here are my ‘Tapner’ tips:
Technology and temperature
Progressive muscle relaxation
So now to explain them. Starting with the letter ’T’, it just had to have two tips on it because they are both so important. First of all:
Technology – phones, laptops, iPads, tablets etc will distract you from sleeping, and I am guilty of being on my phone far too late. When you sleep with your phone right next to you, your brain won’t switch off because it will always be waiting for a message or a notification to come through.
Temperature- It is preferable for the best and most comfortable nights sleep to have a slightly colder room. With this very hot weather at the moment it is hard to have a cold room and actually makes sleep a whole lot harder. So, I have a few tips and tricks to cooling down:
1) Run your wrists and ankles under cold water
2) Drink some cold water
3) Put a cold flannel on your forehead and behind your neck
4) And lastly (my personal favourite), open your duvet cover up, get inside it so that you are lying on top of your duvet with just the cover on top of you, this is extra comfort and cooler!
Alcohol- Stay away from alcohol before bed, you may think it helps you fall asleep quicker but it will reduce your sleep quality and wake you up later in the night.
Progressive muscle relaxation- this is something that really does work for me because it makes me concentrate on one thing instead of thinking about a million other things. Starting from your toes up you need to tense your muscles for 8-10 seconds and then relax. The reason this works is because after tensing a muscle it then has to relax, and also with you concentrating on which muscle you are tensing and relaxing and counting how long you are doing it for will take you mind off potentially other very stressful things you are thinking about.
Noise- If you really are having trouble sleeping then what has worked for me (and also helps babies) is listening to what are called “white noises”, I personally love listening to the running water white noise but there are hairdryer noises, waterfalls, traffic, birds and so many more.
Exercise- exercise is so great to help you sleep, I always feel that if I don’t exercise in a day then I get really restless at night and find that by about 1am I am desperate to go for a run, strange I know! What I have recently learnt however is that exercising before you go to bed is actually a bad idea because your adrenaline levels will be high, and you will have lots of energy…possibly the worst combination for sleep!
Routine- this is something that I completely fail at every single night. A bed time routine sounds really childish, but actually there is a reason that everyone uses a good routine for children, the consistency of a routine will help a child relax more because they know what is going on and its predictable, this will also help a child when they are in unfamiliar surroundings. This is the same for everyone else in life, we give our brain the same routine every night and we will relax and get a better nights sleep. For those who don’t know what a good routine may include, well its totally up to you, whatever helps you relax. To give you an example my Mum has a hot bath, reads her book, writes in her diary and then falls asleep. No matter what time she gets home she will always do the same routine and falls straight to sleep!
I hope these 7 tips help you with sleep, they have definitely helped me (when I use them), let me know how you get on.
Bye for now