8 Tips for a Better Night's Sleep
A good night’s sleep is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself – you’ll feel better, be more productive and there’s a wide array of health benefits that come as a bonus. But sometimes getting a good dose of shut-eye can be easier said than done. We’ve all spent nights lying in bed, desperately willing ourselves to STOP THINKING AND GO. TO. SLEEP only to end up frustrated and even further away from dozing off than when we first crawled between the sheets.
There’s no one fix for nodding off quickly, but sleep experts often recommend establishing a nightly bedtime routine designed to prepare you mentally and physically for sleep. Below are 8 tips for getting a better night’s sleep, you might like to include in your own sleep routine:
- Exercise regularly at least 3 hours before bed
While you might feel mentally drained, if you haven’t used a lot of physical energy throughout the day it’s likely that pent-up energy is keeping you awake. Try to do something that gets your heart rate up every day to help use up your energy stores before bedtime – this may be as simple as a brisk walk around the block. Just don’t exercise within 3 hours of your bedtime, as physical activity can be very energising.
- Have a hot bath or shower at least 2 hours before bedtime
A warm bath or shower can help to relax your muscles and mind and prepare you for sleep, however, your body must be cool in order to fall into a comfortable sleep state. For this reason, take a hot shower or relaxing soak at least 2 hours before bedtime to give your body time to cool – we recommend our Tranquil bath bomb or bath soak to help calm your nervous system and begin the unwinding process.
- Turn off screens half an hour before bed
The light emitted by electronic devices such as laptops, mobile phones and televisions has been found to activate the brain, making it harder for you to rest. Try turning devices off half an hour before bedtime and spend that time reading, talking with a loved one or journaling instead.
A good stretch just before bed can help relieve tension in your back and limbs. Take five minutes each night to stretch everything out. A good stretch to try is to lie on your back and gently raise one leg as high as you can, pulling back toward your face if you’re flexible. Then bend the knee and try to bring it to your chin, holding there for a few seconds; now pull the leg away from the body and to the side to stretch out your hamstring, after a few seconds place the knee in the other hand and stretch the leg across your body, facing over the opposite shoulder for a gentle T-twist. Now do the same on the other side.
- Herbal tea
If you find yourself wanting to snack before bedtime, try swapping high sugar snacks for a calming herbal tea. While there’s no scientific proof that herbal tea helps people sleep, a warm drink can help calm the body and aid digestion. Many people swear by herbal tea before bedtime, even if it is just for the sake of a relaxing ritual. We recommend our Tranquil herbal tea, which is a unique blend of calming lavender, chamomile, passion flower, linden flower, rose petals and hop flowers.
- Remove devices that stimulate thought
While it can be tempting to take laptops and phones to bed with you, their presence trains your mind to see the bedroom as a place for more than rest and invites the worries and stresses of the day in. Learn to leave them outside the room and make your bedroom a tech-free sanctuary.
- Focus on your breathing
If you find yourself lying in bed waiting for sleep to come, try focusing on something boring and predictable such as your breathing or counting at a steady pace. This will keep your mind from wondering to more complex issues and may help you to relax more quickly.
- Try aromatherapy
There are many essential oils that may help you to unwind and fall asleep more easily and can be used in oil burners, as massage oil, on your pillow or applied to your temples. We’ve created the Sleep Essential Oil – with bergamot, vetiver, patchouli, atlas cedarwood and Australian sandalwood – to help encourage a deep, nourishing sleep.
There are many other ways to promote a better night’s sleep – some will work for you and some won’t, but it really is worth developing a bedtime routine unique to your preferences so that you can get a good sleep and wake feeling rested, refreshed and ready to take on the day.
- Toni McMahon