Wednesday, 12 December 2018

5 Ways I Improved My Sleep


Sleep is, without doubt, one of the things I crave most in life but get the least of!

I have suffered with insomnia for as long as I can remember. Even as a young teenager, I'd be laying in bed still wide awake as the sun came up each morning - having spent the entire night mentally counting up how much sleep I'd get before school if only I could drop off right now.

In a way, it was a blessing in disguise once I became a mother as - when everyone else I knew was struggling with night feeds and getting up with a newborn - I found it pretty easy as I was used to always being awake anyway.

But now that my boys are super active children rather than tiny babies, I find myself struggling to keep up with their energy and I know that surviving on so little sleep is a huge factor in that.

Lately I've been making a conscious effort to at least improve the quality of the sleep I do get, with the idea being that even if I can't force myself to sleep for longer...I can at least make sure I'm sleeping well.

I thought I'd share some of the things I've done lately which I think have made a big difference to the quality of sleep I've been getting.

1) Tidied My Bedroom!

I recently gave my bedroom a bit of a spruce with a fresh lick of paint on the walls, a new wardrobe and some new curtains, and while doing this I also took the opportunity to have a huge clear out.

With everything feeling much less cluttered and far more organised, it feels like a much calmer space to settle down for the evening which I think helps to make my mind feel less cluttered too!



2) Got A New Duvet 

I'd been buying to buy a winter duvet for a while as I was really feeling the cold with our lighter weight one, so finally getting around to buying a nice 15 tog duvet has helped a lot. I feel much warmer and the weight really helps me to relax as well.

3) Got A New Pillow

Again, something I'd been meaning to do for a while so when I was contacted by Nanu and asked if I'd like to try their personalised pillows I couldn't resist.

Your pillow is personalised to your sleeping habits and personal needs as you answer a series of questions online before it's made especially for you.

I was skeptical, but I have to admit - the pillow is PERFECT for me. It's exactly the right firmness and gives just the right support, and it's also super soft and allergen free, plus filled with recycled materials from plastic bottles. It costs £30 and more details can be found online at https://nanusleep.co.uk/

4) Reduced Screen Time Before Bed

I'm very guilty of spending a lot of time aimlessly scrolling through social media, and I'd often do this right before bed. More often than not, I'd come across something upsetting or anxiety inducing right before bed which would play on my mind as I tried to fall asleep.

On top of that, I knew that the blue light of the screen wasn't conducive to restful sleep when used right before bed...and even though I always turn down the brightness on my phone I was confident that it was still having an impact.

So now I make sure that I don't pick my phone up at all for at LEAST an hour before I go to bed. Infact my goal is to put my phone down at 9pm every evening and not use it again until the morning...I'm succeeding at that around 50% of the time at the moment but I'm hoping if I keep trying it will become a habit.

5) Started To Meditate

I've found that doing a short meditation 5 minutes before I go to sleep really helps to soothe my mind. I don't do anything too intense..infact my favourite thing to do is to try the "Quiet Mind" method where you concentrate on observing each passing thought without engaging with it. Instead noticing that a new thought has come into your mind, and letting it leave again without paying it any more attention.

I find it works quite well, and often helps me to drop off.

Do you have any tips on improving your quality of sleep? I'd love to hear them!

*I was gifted a Nanu sleep pillow for the purpose of this post

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