Sleep: how to improve your shut-eye

Sleep Free Spirited Sisters

We all know we need it and that when we don’t get it, things just get a little more difficult to say the least. We all know that feeling of waking up after a seriously good sleep and feeling like you can take on the world. And many of us also know the feeling when your sleep has been less than average and you feel like a scatter-brain! So what are the best ways to get to sleep, stay there and have good quality zzz? Well, they’re different for everyone, but here we’ll run through a few ideas to help get the peepers to sleep and in turn have all those happy feels during the waking hours.

Why sleep is good

Getting the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep each night can really benefit you. Lack of sleep affects metabolism, mood, immune function and memory just to name a few. Studies have shown that the more sleep you get, or an optimum amount, can reduce your cravings for carbs and sugars too.

Getting there

For me, it’s all about the falling asleep part. If I’ve been on a device too long or too late, I find it really hard to nod off. So it’s really good to have a wind-down routine going on. Turn off devices at least 1/2 to 1 hour before bedtime. I like to read a ‘real’ book in bed next to my dim lamp and wait for my eyes to drop. When that happens I know I need to hastily turn off the lamp, get cozy in bed and close my eyes. Not get side-tracked by the alert that has just popped up on my phone!

Move more during the day

Getting in some exercise during the day definitely helps you to sleep better at night. And being out in the sunshine really helps too, as your body will recognise the difference between night and day.

Watch your intake

Avoiding caffeine later on in the day is a great way to not be the wide-eyed zombie later on. I try not to have any coffee or tea after 2pm. Also being aware of the amount of food you’re eating close to bedtime. It’s recommended that we don’t go to bed on a full stomach, allowing at least a couple of hours from dinner time before going to bed. And not going to bed hungry is important too.  If you’re hungry later at night, try just having a piece of fruit and some nuts to get the hunger pangs away and have a more peaceful sleep.

Feel the calm

If you’re struggling to get to sleep, sometimes a nice relaxing meditation or body scan can help. I find it really helps to calm my mind and drift off. Or try some lavender oil in a diffuser.

Different stages

In my third trimester of each of my 3 pregnancies, I had serious insomnia. I would literally lay there wide awake for hours and would eventually do the ‘lift and roll’ to get out of bed and go out to the living room and start planning something ridiculous or do the monthly budget. Apparently, that’s supposed to ‘prepare you’ for what lies ahead with the babies. That’s ok, I don’t need practice, I’ll just deal with it then!! And all the mummas out there will know the reality of disrupted sleep (even with the good sleepers) that comes with being a parent, some way more severe than others. But just trying to add in some of the things mentioned, could help you catch some z’s when you can.

 

All in all, try not to focus on not being asleep too much and if you are wide-eyed and staring at the ceiling for too long, it’s better to get up and go to a different, calm area of the house and try some wind-down techniques there. Just don’t pick up the glowing blue-lighted device!!

 

Love,

Katie x



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