We all have those nights we feel completely drained, and can’t wait to hit the sack. Unfortunately those 40 winks can be a little harder to grab than that makes it sound. After a day running around and trying to stay awake, it can then be hard to get your brain in to the right place to sleep.
Personally, this time of year I’m awake when the sun starts to come up- which is a body clock to be proud of, but also a nuisance if I didn’t manage to sleep well. And with exams and essays looming on the horizon for most of us, sometimes stress can disrupt sleep- as can a later night cramming session.
Below I have a few things I like to implement when I need a great night’s sleep…
- After a ‘X’pm, make sure your time is your own: after 7pm most evenings I stop working, and chill out. It means my brain has time to slow down, rather than expecting it to come to a complete standstill when I get into bed.
- Carb up: Eating higher protein in the morning can prevent you feeling hungry during the day, and also experiencing a glucose spike and dip. Eating carbs (such as brown rice, sweet or normal potato, wholemeal bread, quinoa…) in your last meal can help you sleep too. The dip you’ll eventually experience in glucose levels will make you sleepy, and signal to your body that its time to wind down.
- Get rid of technology time before bed: give yourself at least 30 minutes tech free before bed. Turn off the TV, turn off your phone, I-pad, laptop etc.
- Keep the room cool: I open my window before I hop between the sheets, as a I find that a cool room is much easier to fall asleep in that a stuffy one.
- Invest in silicone ear plugs: You can pick these up for about £2 in some chemists and beauty stores. They fit specifically to your ears to keep out all noise possible. They were a godsend during my first year of uni.
- Have a warm drink about one hour before heading to bed, as long as it isn’t coffee: Limiting caffeine after 1pm usually means I’ve wound down by 10pm. About an hour before heading to bed I’ll have either a liquorice and peppermint, plain mint, or chamomile tea. All of these teas soothe the digestive system, and a hot drink helps me to relax.
- Don’t go to bed super hungry: Admittedly, I cant sleep on a full stomach, but going to bed hungry keeps me awake too. Have a good evening meal, rich in carbs, but that won’t lay heavy on your stomach (so avoid greasy fried foods, for example)
- Get rid of the day so far: You can do this in a number of ways. Take a bath, meditate, do some journaling…I have a couple of friends who like to use those adult colouring books too (which sound way more exciting than they really are). Anything that slows down the thoughts you have buzzing around up there from a busy day.