For years I struggled with insomnia and there is nothing worse, it's so debilitating being tired! I now sleep pretty well, and here are a few things that I found have really helped me. Hope they might help you too!
- AVOID CAFFEINE: don't drink caffeine after 4pm
- FOOD: don't go to bed really hungry or really full
- WIND DOWN before bed, don't go from gear 10 to 1 and expect to fall straight to sleep! Read a book or have a bath, anything to go down a few gears.
- HAVE A HOT DRINK, it's comforting, not chocolate as it's got caffeine in it! Try ginger tea.
- EXERCISE: make sure you have done some exercise during the day, and got some fresh air, and ideally got got your heart rate up a bit! Being physically tired means you are more likely to get to sleep quicker.
- ROOM: sure your windows are open and the room is not too hot or too cold (around 18 degrees is perfect apparently!)
- BE COMFY: make sure you are comfortable. I know it sounds silly but wear comfortable clothes
- MATTRESS: invest in a new mattress if yours is very old! Not only are the springs likely to have gone it's going to be full of bed bugs which could cause allergy symptoms
- GET A MATTRESS TOPPER: they are amazing! they are like sleeping on a duvet and not only keep you cosy, but comfy too.
- DARKNESS: make sure it's dark. If you can't ensure this then wear a sleep mask (they are amazing!). Eye masks mean it's easier to keep your eyes closed and you are less likely to get wrinkles too!
- QUIET: make sure it's quiet. Wear ear plugs if you need to!
- LIMIT YOUR THOUGHTS: try to not think too much, especially about going to sleep, the more you worry about this the less likely you will be able to sleep. I was told this tip once: With your eyes closed, picture a piece of square red velvet. Every time a thought comes into your head, focus on the velvet and don't like the thought come in across it, just ignore it and keep focussing on the velvet. Keep all thoughts out. Keep your mind empty if possible!
- DO NOT STRESS about not being asleep! Just relax and think about how your body is just resting and recuperating just lying there. The more you worry about it, the less likely you are to be able to sleep!
- TRY GENTLY TAPPING various parts of your body with 2 fingers for a couple of seconds, moving around... it just takes you a bit of out of your mind and helps you to focus on your body instead!
- MAGNESIUM: make sure your levels of magnesium are optimum. Have a blood test to find out what they are and take a supplement if required. Magnesium helps control the stress hormone cortisol, and also helps relax your muscles, and has been proven to help you drop off to sleep
- TRY REFLEXOLOGY, it's so relaxing!
- TRY ACUPUNCTURE, it's supposed to be good for helping sleep
- PARACETAMOL: if all else fails then I take a couple of Paracetamol, not great to resort to medication but I find it really helps relax me and better than a really strong sleeping tablet!
I'm off to bed now, sleep well! : - ) x