If you’re finding it difficult to wind down and relax at the moment you’re not alone. Often our worries and thoughts come to light when we are lying in bed at night without the distractions of the busy world around us, it is hard to shut these thoughts out and turn on relax mode. A night of good sleep is just as important as exercise and sets our minds up for the day ahead. Here are our top tips getting those forty winks in.
Adjust your lightening accordingly
Natural and bright light during the day time hours helps to keep your circadian rhythm in check. Try soaking up as much natural light as you can during the daytime hours by gardening, walking or reading outside in the sunlight. At night reduce your exposure to blue lights and dim your lighting or use lamps with lower wattage bulbs to prepare your body for sleep.
Layer your bedding
If you find yourself tossing and turning at night in between hot and cold, swapping out your heavy doona for sheets and a few layers of blankets allows for temperature variation without disrupting your sleep too much. A change in season can always take a bit of adjusting to get it right.
Reduce screen time and social media
As lovely as it has been to stay connected with everyone digitally over the past couple of months, this could have started some new screen time habits. Scrolling social media and news sites before bed can trigger obsessive thoughts and worries that might be hard to shut away once you’re lying in bed. Reducing your screen time 1 – 2 hours before bed will help you wind down from the day. Most phones have ‘downtime’ settings which can help initiate a new routine.
Go to sleep when you’re tired
If you’re struggling to get to sleep, lying in bed getting stressed staring at the clock isn’t going to get you to sleep any faster. If you haven’t fallen asleep with 20 minutes get out of bed, go to a quiet room with low lighting and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep.
Swap your meals around
Eating heavy meals before bed can sometimes leave you feeling too full to relax and settle into a comfy position. Try swapping your lunch and dinner portions around by cooking a bigger lunch and then eating leftovers or a simple dinner. If you still love the comfort of a big dinner, try eating earlier to allow time to digest your meal before jumping into bed.
Keep an eye on your sleep patterns or keep a sleep journal if you’re consistently getting low or restless sleep and talk to your doctor if you’re feeling tired most days to out rule any underlying medical conditions and help you develop a healthy bedtime strategy.