While falling asleep seems to be all too easy for some people, like my partner (his head hits the pillow and he’s asleep). Some of us have a harder time dozing off to sleep. Before falling asleep here is usually a lot of tossing and turning, thinking about my day and planning tomorrow in my head. Once you feel like you’ve been laying there for hours on end, you start to put more and more pressure on yourself to go to sleep!
However, something I've come to realise is that going to bed is not necessarily about falling asleep quickly. It’s about resting your mind, body and avoiding all technology at least 30 minutes before bed. Here are some tips on how to get a better nights sleep and love your bed.
Tip No. 1 > Relax Your Mind
Your mind can be your own worst enemy when trying to go to sleep. My new favourite app that has been helping me control how I think when trying to get to sleep, is ‘Smiling Mind’. This app is based around building lifelong tools in mindfulness meditation. Following highly regarded institutions such as UCLA, Harvard, Oxford, Monash and Melbourne Universities developing clinical studies into the positive impacts of mindfulness meditation. Proving that regular practice helps combat stress, improves focus, increases resilience and in my case get to sleep!
Smiling Mind is modern meditation for young people. It’s great because it’s a free app and a not-for-profit initiative based on a process that provides a sense of clarity, calm and contentment. You can start off with 5 minutes a night and build up to longer sessions. It simply helps you focus on you breathing and forget about everything else so can calm you mind and drift peacefully off to sleep.
Tip No. 2 > Create a Comfortable Environment
If my bed is not comfortable I will literally toss and turn all night. Comfortable and supportive bedding has been the best investment in a good night’s sleep. I also love creating the best sleep inducing environment to help promote a sound slumber. I need the room to be completely dark, quiet and at a nice cool temperature, this means I can get cosy under my doona. It’s also important your room is dark; why do you think bats congregate in caves for their daytime sleep? Think of yourself as a bat and keep the light out with some quality blockout curtains.
It's also important for you children to get a restful night's sleep for their health and well-being. Incorporate the same principles into the life as your own. They should have comfortable kids furniture and bedding, as well as sticking to a sleep schedule.
Tip No. 3 > Stick to a Sleeping Schedule
This was a hard one for me to crack, because who doesn’t love sleeping in on the weekend? However, I’ve learnt how important it is to keep your internal clock set. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends) means you'll wake up with more energy and you’ll avoid that horrible Monday morning sleep hangover. A study by Harvard found that an irregular sleep schedule or frequent disturbance of sleep can result in a redistribution of sleep stages.
You can’t go to sleep and wake up every day at the exact time, but the closer you stick to your sleeping schedule the better you’ll feel throughout the day. Do some stretches before bed and make your sleeping environment as comfortable as possible! Focus on your breathing and forget about everything else. Simply enjoy lying down, resting your body and recharging your body so you’re ready to tackle the day.