28 Dec Sprucing up my Sleep Hygiene
Sprucing up my Sleep Hygiene
Have you thought about your sleep hygiene? Sounds sexy, right?
I’ve been making some positive changes in the bedroom (aka SLEEP HYGIENE)! And it’s proving a great opportunity to put my sleeping habits first.
I’m dedicating the next month to better sleep. Some call it the silly season but we don’t need to get silly about our sleep do we? So I’ve given my bedroom a proper deep scrub and refreshing Spring clean/Winter clean to make it as enticing as possible.
I’ve moved positive happy colourful things in and all things negative & techy out. The radio is staying though for chilled classical music for maximum relaxation.
If you’re sleep serious like me, have a listen to my ’Live Life Better’ podcast episode ‘The Secrets of Sleep’ with the only Professor of Sleep Science in the whole world, Jason Ellis. Listen here.
And here are a few ‘sleep hygiene’ tips which I hope might be helpful (although I know for insomniacs these may not be at all helpful and you might have heard it all and tried these before). But I try to remind myself to…
1) – not email / text/ or watch anything too stimulating before bed – I love heart thumping mystery thrillers but they scupper my sleep if I watch them too late
2) – eat earlier! Henry hates eating earlier but if I’m not working in the evening, we compromise at 7pm dinner, I’d eat earlier if I could, love a granny dinner
3) – I do a 5 minute ‘worry dump’ if I can’t shake a worry – learnt this from @themindmedic I let myself worry for 5 minutes then come back to it in the morning
4) – use my Dad’s old skool alarm clock so there’s no excuses (!) to use my phone for an alarm – no laptops and no phones in the bedroom, I find this one hard
5) wear an eye mask to block out light (wash it regularly) and keep the window ajar for fresh air, some people like wearing socks to bed but I have to have naked feet poking out
6) – write a Gratitude list in bed, takes a few minutes, I say THANKS for the day and count my blessings, if I’m too knackered to write it, I say it out loud as I climb into bed. I REALLY find this helps.
7)- have a regular proper good clear down and clear out of the bedroom to make it as enticing as possible to actually want to get into bed. It’s amazing how quickly life stuff builds up around your sanctuary space, get it out!
8) – moved a few positive happy colourful things in, some happy artwork, and all things negative & techy out. Henry had a piece of art on my side of the bed that I realised stressed me out in the middle of the night when I went to the loo!
9) – put my favourite “sleepy stuff” next to my bed, like relaxing smelling lavender sleep spray, hand cream (quick hand massage to relax myself) so I’m not searching for anything
10) – promise myself even if I want a lie in to get up 20 minutes earlier to do something for myself in the morning without checking my phone or the news, even if it’s drink my tea in bed (what a luxury, shouldn’t be) or sleepily read 10 pages of a book as I let myself wake up
11) – breathing exercises – I learnt to mediate 11 years ago, sometimes I fall off the wagon and I always mean to talk more about meditation but then I get distracted by soups and want to share soups with you. If you’re interested let’s talk about meditation more. I do find my sleep improves when I meditate. And certainly if I struggle to fall asleep, simple breathing exercises almost always help relax me so do read up on that if you’re struggling.
Check out these great people – sleep experts, doctors, therapists…
Jason Ellis, world’s first sleep professor, enjoyed interviewing him for a podcast years ago, neuroscientist Matthew Walker who writes about sleep. Dr Sarah Vohra @themindmedic for worry dumps and more, Kimberley Wilson @foodandpysch for so much – journal club, brain awareness posts and podcasts, @emmalcannon and @donnalancaster two incredible women who inspire me daily for both positive and challenging posts on life and these 3 fantastic friendly doctors for great podcasts on sleep, stress, nutrition and everything in between @Drchatterjee has lots of sleep tips and @thefooddoctor @doctors_kitchen
Also Sean @e5acupuncture@emeraldandtiger for reiki @sarahmalcs for after work yoga to shake off the day, @justbreathe for mindfulness and meditation.