You’ve chased the youngest through a park, walked the dog, and done all the home chores for the day. Yet, you still find yourself unable to sleep – maybe you’re even reading this post in the dim glow of your smartphone light at 2am? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Whatever the reason that you can’t seem to board the train to dreamland, we have some effective lifestyle and environmental tips to help you get the sleep you deserve. So, let’s leave counting sheep to the farmers and consider these effective methods instead. The methods below have been chosen because they are easier to put into practice over some other less-proven methods and inconvenient techniques.
No matter how busy your schedule is, there are always ways to sneak in some exercise. Exercise is beneficial for fairly obvious reasons. The more you can wear yourself out during the day the better chance you have of nodding off quickly and staying asleep so your body can recover. By doing exercise to get a better night’s sleep, you can also change your mindset that you’re exercising for physical benefits only. The idea of better sleep may be the extra motivation you need to get active.
Doing more exercise doesn’t require you to get a gym membership or a personal trainer either. You could simply tweak parts of your daily routine to gradually tire yourself out and get the sleep you need. Get off the bus a stop early. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Or, delete Uber Eats and start walking to get your delicious sushi.
Eat Well – Sleep Better
We deserve a pizza and that last slice of cake. However, watching your diet is one of the best ways to improve your quality of sleep. Processed foods have been found to negatively impact your sleep. Moreover, not eating nutritious foods during the day often leads to our Netflix binges coinciding with snack binges.
But let’s take a bite into the science of it all. Our diets affect the hormone levels produced by our body, including the hormones that our body creates to induce sleep. One of these core hormones is melatonin. When we eat too many sugars and fats our body’s production of melatonin stagnates and slows down. Thus, leading to tossing and turning rather than deep dreaming. Similarly, caffeine and alcohol cause reduces our ability to sleep and prevent us from achieving rapid eye movement (REM) sleep on many occasions. Moderation is key. Many experts suggest that your biggest meal should be at lunchtime and you should not eat up to two hours before you hit the hay.
The Wind Down
When most of us wake up we’re like a Jack In The Box toy. We take a little while before springing into action. Well, if we get the chance to that is. The same logic applies to our bedtime. We also need time to prepare to get to sleep just like a steady wake up process. For many of us with busy schedules, this doesn’t seem achievable. By the time we finish our tasks, it’s already past our bedtime and we jump straight in the sack.
Slowly relaxing may involve picking up your latest read, gentle yoga or even meditation. Muscle relaxation techniques may also help. Allocating ten minutes to some of these activities before you actually get into bed has been found beneficial. Yet, doing this creates something else. It creates routine. Routines are important to help your body know when it is time for sleep. You can implement the wind-down phase of each night at the same time to let your body know that it’s about time to kick out some zeds (we’re not accusing you of snoring!).
Create The Perfect Sleeping Environment
You may be taking the stairs every day, getting enough greens, going to bed at the same time and meditating, but still not getting a good night’s sleep. If this sounds familiar, maybe it’s time to look at your sleeping quarters?
Your first point of call will be your bed, and specifically, your mattress. Having a subpar mattress and a mattress that is too firm or too soft can be enough to keep you up all night. On the other hand, a high-quality mattress can be all that is needed for a ticket to sleep central. The Brisbane mattress is one option that has been noted to offer a better night’s sleep. These breathable mattresses are also suitable for various conditions, including extremely hot Australian summers and even Queensland’s severe humidity. Take your time to look at what’s currently on the market and protect your investment with a mattress cover.
The same attention should be applied to your bedding. You need the right type of pillow – and the right number! – and the most suitable layering for the season. Yet, one of the most effective environmental changes you can make is to your bedside table. Instead of keeping your smartphone on the table beside your bed, you should charge it and leave it in another room overnight. This is because most of us have some form of addiction to our smartphones and when we wake up even slightly in the night, we check them and wake ourselves up even more. Even when we leave them on silent. We know – you use it as your alarm clock. Buy an alarm clock…
Many of our sleeping troubles are instigated by stress. Maybe it’s caused by financial burdens, work-related stress, or relationship issues. Whatever it is, it creeps in behind us and into our bedrooms. What is supposed to be an escape from our daily troubles and a time for relaxing suddenly becomes plagued by stressful thoughts or worry.
One technique for countering these thoughts and feelings from cropping up is to first remind yourself that this moment is for self-care only. When you do realise that you’re thinking negatively, instead go to a place where you remind yourself of the positive things, achievements and people in your life. You can even add this to your routine – a sort of self-affirmation stage before you meditate or read.
Time For Bed?
The above tips to help you achieve 40 winks have been proven effective for many mums. Us mums need our beauty sleep to help us tackle the mountains we climb every day. Use the methods, plan a routine and create a space that facilitates healthy rest to achieve the deep sleep you deserve.