Have a wind down routine
This may include a warm bath with essential oils (always dilute with a dispersant or you can use milk as oils and water do not combine).
I find pure essential oils of Lavender & Marjoram (3 drops each) wonderful.
A warm (not hot) shower
• A cup of your favourite herbal tea
There are so many varieties now. Even if you didn’t enjoy herbal tea in the past, you may be surprised to find one you really do enjoy now.
• Meditation – also lots of choices available now. Here is a link to an 18 minute Alpha Relaxation Meditation you may wish to try by Mind Valley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt_zQcNbpg8
• Any other quiet activity that prepares you for sleep.
Gentle yoga and orgasm may actually enhance sleep.• Go to bed when you feel sleepy.When tiredness comes on go straight to bed. Activities such as cleaning, screen time, loud music will stimulate you so avoid these and dim the lights to prepare you for sleep.
• Exercise vigorously during the day only, not before bed.
• Change things around and have your main meal in the middle of the day not at night.Large meals at night can disrupt sleep as this effects digestion and blood sugar levels. Also avoid alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine before bed as these substances are stimulating and disturb the natural sleep cycle.
• Go to bed the same time each nightI know this is a stretch for most but ideally 9.00pm, no later than 11pm.
• Make your bedroom a sanctuary.Evoke all senses when creating a comfortable sleeping environment. Choose relaxing pure essential oils like Lavender, Chamomile or Marjoram (maximum 6 drops in a burner or 2 drops on a tissue or hanky on your person) Paint the walls a calming colour and declutter so your mind is restful.
Include an indoor plant to help purify the air. Ensure the temperature enhances sleep. Too warm or cold may disturb sleep. Have a window slightly ajar in warmer months and have an extra cover nearby in colder months. Separate your work/study area from your bedroom.
• Reflect on your feelings towards sleep
If you feel you cannot get to sleep and you are getting frustrated, practice just resting. Lie in bed and practice relaxation techniques such as slow, deep breathing or mindfulness. Your subconscious mind will begin to relax and this will translate into a positive restful effect on your body. Quiet reading (not stimulating content) or writing can be good activities to do before sleep. I enjoy journalling without thinking of how to fix things – i.e.: Today I allowed plenty of time to set up my practice to with beautiful essential oils, and it was lovely, comfortable and warm. Keep the time to no more than thirty minutes.
Closing your eyes allows your brain to enter alpha state. Even if your mind still seems active, closing your eyes helps your subconscious mind prepare for sleep.
• Wake at the same time each day.
Even if you feel tired or you feel you haven’t had enough sleep.
This will assist to regulate your body clock and maintain a positive routine.
Between 5:00am and 7:00am is ideal.
Happy Sleeping….zzzz(Adapted from The Better Sleep Booklet, Cannard, G 2001)