If you have one aim for 2018, it should be to take better care of yourself. Self care is something that lots of us neglect to do, in the rush to look after everyone else around us. This is a real shame, as taking better care of ourselves, through things like exercise and healthy eating can make us happier and more productive.
One area of self care that I aim to improve on is sleep. I know that last year, I struggled with sleep. I could not establish a sleep pattern, spent far too many hours working into the night and burning the midnight oil, and, as a consequence, was often tired and irritable in the mornings. In addition, I often suffered from insomnia as I struggled to relax and wind down, and therefore couldn’t get to sleep once I went to bed. I often found myself getting up in the middle of the night and sitting reading, trying to lull myself to sleep.
Establishing a sleep pattern is actually not as hard as it sounds. Banishing all social media from the bedroom is definitely a good start, you are supposed to be sleeping so why do you need your phone on your bedside table? Your room needs to be a relaxing environment, so aim for soft colours in your decor – I think you will find it hard to relax in a bright red or blue bedroom. Blackout blinds are a good idea, they block out both natural and streetlights from your vision,
Another thing that can help you to establish a sleep pattern is a good old fashioned alarm clock. If you think carefully about it, we help our children to establish a sleep pattern by giving them a routine, going to be at the same time, and then getting up at the same time each morning. We can do the same by going to bed a little earlier, and then setting a time to get up by with our alarm clocks, This should help train our bodies and hopefully get us the amount of sleep that we really need.
Of course, the relaxation of our bodies should start long before we actually go to bed. We should start our wind down once our working day is over. I find that a soothing bath is a good way to get rid of the aches and pains of the day that has passed, and that, once again, having a routine can aid the relaxation. I love to read in the bath, something light that I can lose myself in, like a chick lit novel. This helps to free my mind from the fog of the day. I add something soothing and fragranced to the water, something like Neom Organics ‘Create Calm in the Chaos; and the ‘Scent to sleep’ ranges, which features essential oils like lavender and jasmine which have relaxing properties. The range also features pillow spray and a scented candle which allows you to continue your relaxation once you are out of the bath.
Once bathed I like a glass of milk before bed. I used to drink coffee, but now try to avoid caffeine, and, as I don’t actually like malted milky drinks, I just tend to drink milk itself – you could warm it up but I just drink it cold.
What do you do to help you sleep better?