You may be feeling tired but wired right now, and the desire to curl up under the duvet and catch those all-important ZZZ’s becomes more appealing by the minute. Yet, the reality of actually drifting off and staying asleep is often easier said than done.
If that all sounds far too familiar and you’re craving a good night’s sleep, fear not and listen up – I'm shedding light on my daily habits that make a soul-soothing difference.
So what are the 5 steps to better sleep?
1 - Repair your body by pulling tension out of your muscles with simple yoga stretches in the evening.
2 - Replenish your energy sustainably by doing easy breathing practices, and some mid-afternoon rest positions that help you to put energy back on the grid when you’re tired, instead of amping-up your nervous system with caffeine or spiking your blood sugar levels. Then when it comes to bedtime, your nervous system remembers how to really rest.
3 - Reclaim your mind if your mind is full and you can’t switch off, you need time for mental digestion. Doing simple mindfulness practice in the evening or getting your thoughts out of your mind and down on paper at night can lead to a calmer mind at night.
4 - Restore a sense of calm. Natural teas and minerals can have a powerful positive impact on your sleep. Lemon balm helps maintain a restful sleep, chamomile helps to soothe, while vitamin B complex and magnesium are linked to help decrease stress and help the nervous system. Another great way to absorb magnesium is with a mineral rich bath soak.
5 - Make your bedroom a sleep haven, one that is calming, relaxing, and promotes sleep from the moment you enter the room. This may include ensuring it is a tidy space, free from clutter, and without distractions such as TVs or electronic gadgets.
You could also promote a positive sleep environment with the use of essential oil aromas thought to promote feelings of calm and relaxation. Our recent blog into the therapeutic benefits of essential oils explains this further.
My personal sleep routine involves turning the lights down low, often lighting candles, and switching on soothing music as I wash my face, have a bath, and slip into my pajamas. I then do a few simple stretches and slow down my breathing - and if I feel tense in my belly or chest, I focus my breathing there - inhaling into the area, and then slowly exhaling. I love stretching my thighs and hips and taking the lying-down twist on my bed before crawling under the duvet. This makes me feel really relaxed, and I will often read a book by candlelight until my eyes are tired, then I blow out the candle and I’m in dreamland.