Struggling to Sleep: Tips to help you sleep

A couple of weeks ago I talked about bedroom styling and how it’s not just aesthetics that we need to think about, it’s practicality too.

If you read that post you’ll have seen that on my bedroom wish list was two eve pillows and a mattress topper and you know what? Would you believe it but a little bit of positivity, the law of attraction, a whole lot of wishing and late last week the guys over at eve must have known my sleeping was getting really bad and they fulfilled my wish list and sent me over exactly what I had been wishing for, thanks guys you are the best! I mean if you’re listening feel free to send a King Size duvet and covers over too….I joke. In all seriousness though I have genuinely never had a better night sleep.

For years I’ve slept with two pillows as one isn’t high enough, just one eve pillow is just perfect and the mattress topper. I am blown away. I actually no longer have a bad back or a crick in my neck and the only thing that’s changed has been the addition to my bed!

I was so excited by the new arrival that I even text my best friend to tell her she had to come for a test of my cloud-like bed!

It got me thinking though, I bet there’s plenty of you lying awake scrolling through social media and websites unable to sleep because your bedroom just isn’t optimised for sleeping. So here we go, our very own top tips to getting to sleep as written by a self-certified insomniac.

Just for your information, counting sheep doesn’t work!

Temperature

Research has shown that the optimum temperature for the perfect night sleep is 60-67F (15-19C), this is because your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep, which these proposed temperatures help to facilitate this.

That’s why it’s best to have a cooler room on an evening when you get into bed. Think of your bedroom as a cave it should be cool, calm and dark. These three factors help to fall into a deep sleep much easier.

On the flip side if it’s not warm enough for you to drift into a deep sleep, and you’re still struggling to head to the land of nod then warm your feet up by wearing socks or placing a hot water bottle at your feet and is if by magic those peepers of yours will start to become heavy.

Ambiance

The mood in the bedroom has to be just right. Too bright and you’ll find it impossible to get to sleep, too dark and you’ll never wake up feeling fresh. So, how can you achieve that perfect balance to create blissful bedroom ambience.

It has been shown in studies that blue is the most calming colour for a bedroom as it is reminiscent of the sky and also the sea and has also been scientifically proven to regulate your heartbeat meaning you’ll fall asleep more peacefully.

You can style your room any colour it doesn’t have to be blue but accentuating with blue accessories such as curtains and furniture will help you achieve the perfect sleeping space.

Ensuring you have soft lighting in your bedroom is important. If the light is too harsh you’ll struggle to unwind. If you don’t have space for lamps or wall lamps and have a single hanging light in the middle of your room use large light shades and mirrors to create soft shadows. The use of LED lights is also great when it comes to setting the perfect ambience for sleep as these create sensual ambient lighting.

Ever heard people telling you that lavender is great tip for helping you get to sleep? The use of aromatherapy oils, fragrances and scented candles can really help aid sleep. I especially like to rub a blend named Calm to my wrists and pillow on an evening to help soothe me. The mix of lavender, bergamot and frankincense really calm you ready for a great sleep. This aromatherapy oil has been proven great for children and those who suffer restless nights because of conditions such as fibromyalgia.

If you don’t want to have candles or diffusers in your home a top tip is to add a couple of drops into your washing detergent which will make all your sheets smell amazing and act the same way as the diffuser does.

No electronics

This is where it gets ‘techy’. Scientific data states that the role of light from photoreceptors such as phones and tablets promote alertness and wakefulness. Through using a device whilst in bed the light sends a message to the brain to convince your brain you’re still alert as if it was natural daylight.

If you are a serial scroller, the best way to get to sleep is to turn all devices off 30 minutes before your bedtime. This way your brain has time to adjust and slowly start preparing for sleep. If you can’t turn your device off, put them out of reach so that you’re not adding temptation to those devices being near to you while you are trying to settle for sleep.

Drink herbal tea before bed

Every night without fail before bed the kettle is boiled and a cup of herbal tea is brewed. Personally, I think that it is calming and relaxing and the heat on my stomach is perfect for settling down before sleeping. Green tea contains L-theanine which not only helps repair muscle damage but it is also a relaxant which will help aid sleep.

Bedeck carried out research on us Brits to see if a cup of herbal or green tea before bed made a difference and the findings stated that a cup before bed is ideal for getting drinkers off to sleep. Jasmine green tea or a night time blend are my recommendations.

Enjoy a hot soak

Medical research suggests that both baths and foot baths have an impact on sleep, this research has even extended to women undergoing chemotherapy for cancer experiencing a greater level of sleep quality after a 40 minute footbath at 41C. A similar study of elderly insomniacs also proved increased sleep from a full body bath for 30 minutes at 40-41C.

You might question how a bath helps improve sleep, it all comes down to us as humans not having a constant body temperature due to a circulatory rhythm. At 1pm we feel a slight dip in body temperature and it decreases as the afternoon goes on with a significant drop at night. The heat of the bath increases our body temperature allowing our body to relax. Have a bath between 60 and 90 minutes before you get into bed for the best sleep assistance.

Exercise

Again scientists have studied the affects exercise has on sleep patterns and research again suggests that aerobic exercise reduces the length of time in which it took somebody to get to sleep over an evening with no-exercise. Notably and interestingly high intensity exercise such as weights and cardio such as running has no effect on sleep.

The studies show that over a long term period people who exercise at least 3 times a week are more likely to have better deep sleep, less interrupted sleep and fall asleep faster than those who don’t exercise. I can certainly vouch for this as my sleeping patterns are far better and regular when I am in a strong exercise routine.

Comfortable bed

Seriously I’m not just saying this because of the lovely lot over at eve but it’s so important to invest in a good quality mattress or topper, think about it. You’re lying in the same place for hours on end 7 nights a week, the better quality the mattress surely the better sleep you have too?

Don’t forget pillows. I genuinely didn’t think that there was a great deal of difference with pillows, however, after a couple of nights with my head firmly placed on the premium memory foam pillows, they seem to have had a great impact on not only my sleeping but my bad back that I constantly complain about. Being more supportive than feather and fibre these pillows have the added benefit for circulation and muscle alignment.

If you’re serious about changing your sleeping pattern so you wake up refreshed then seriously invest in a great quality sleeping solution. Remember it pays to pay!

So there you have it, if you struggle to sleep on an evening and it’s driving you insane then try out our 7 simple tips to getting a good night sleep.

Have you any other tips for getting yourself to sleep? We’d love to hear them!

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