Let’s get right into this. I’m someone who has nearly always struggled with sleeping. To this day I tend to only get about 7 hours of sleep a night at the most (usually around 5-6), which is a still lot compared to what I used to get.
I’ve tried so many different natural remedies and suggestions from my GP, google, facebook etc etc. and nothing has ever seemed to work. This lack of sleep most likely wasn’t helped by the fact that I worked in a nightclub for 2 years – often staying up till 4/5am 3 times a week after a 2-3am finish at work.
I get it. You’ll be laying in bed wide awake trying to sleep and then getting flustered when you can’t seem to fall asleep, which wakes you up even more! It’s a vicious cycle that once you’re in, it’s hard to get out.
As a result of this I have had to come up with a relatively strict nightly routine which I thought I’d share with you in the hope that it could help someone else who struggles to sleep.
First of all, I like to prep my brain for sleep at around 9-10pm. This isn’t always possible as sometimes I have work until 10pm or have so much coursework that I’m working until after 10pm – however it’s something I aim towards. You can adjust this time based around your needs, eg the time you need to wake up for school / work.
This prep involves trying to relax by stopping doing work, stretching or just taking time to chill. More often than not, the issues people have regarding sleep stem down to anxiety or worrying. Taking 5-10 minutes to do something to relax your thoughts and de-stress is going to work wonders for your sleeping pattern.
I also like to ensure that my bed is warm before I get into it by placing a hot water bottle under the duvet around 10 minutes before I get into bed. Ain’t nobody got time to be chilly.
Once I have completed my nightly skincare routine and brushed my teeth etc, I like to spray my pillows with a lavender scented fragrance. Listen to me right now – lavender is your saviour.
I personally use the Avon Sleeptherapy pillow mist as seen below (it’s virtually empty now).
This stuff is a lifesaver. I have tried endless amounts of over the counter sleeping tablets which haven’t ever worked half as well as spraying lavender around my room and in my bed has.
Around half an hour before I sleep, I also love using the Boots lavender scented Relaxing Rollerball on my wrists and pulse points in my neck. This just adds an extra calming scent without being too overbearing.
The key point to remember is that if you struggle to sleep – relaxation is the absolute most important thing.
Another major thing I’ve found to help is having a sleeping mask. Now I’ve tried a few of these, from velvet to silk. They do honestly help so much considering when I can’t sleep I tend to open my eyes out of frustration.
However, the absolute best mask I’ve ever used is the bedtime bliss mask – (you can get it on Amazon for under £9 here). I was originally sent this mask by bedtime bliss to try and review, but I’ve honestly fallen in love with it. For under £9 you also get a pair of earplugs and a bag to store your mask in.
Unlike every other sleep mask I’ve tried, this one doesn’t sit against your eyes. It is specifically designed so that if you’re able to open your eyes comfortably while wearing the mask, without feeling any pressure on them.
The area of the mask that sits around your eyes is also padded for added comfort, as well as to ensure that the mask is blackout. The band that sits around your head is elastic and adjustable too.
Honestly, this mask is 10/10. I will never recommend a product more than this one if you struggle sleeping.
As a final night-time step, I like to play rain noises from my laptop and let myself fall asleep to the sounds. I use this website as it doubles up as an alarm clock and also has options to play a range of other sounds such as the noise of a fireplace/fire, running water and even that of a washing machine.
Now, these steps might not work for everyone, but if I can provide help to one single person then I’m happy.
Other things that might help you are:
- Working out during the day – this might help to make you tired!
- Reading a book before bed.
- Having a bath or shower before bed.
- Practising breathing in bed – slow deep breaths lasting 4+ seconds.
- Thinking positive thoughts like what you’re grateful for.
- The obvious one – get off of your phone before you get into bed!
Ultimately, learning what routine works for you is a process of trial and error. As I said before, I’ve nearly always struggled with sleeping. It’s taken me almost 10 years to find out what works for me, as the doctors always used to just say I’d need to read or get up and walk around at 4am when I couldn’t sleep – which isn’t sustainable F.Y.I.
I really hope this helps.