Sleep is a funny old thing.
In my view you can never have too much of it, and my bed is one of my favorite places, but so many people struggle with sleep. In times of stress it can prove elusive to us all. But what about those who have sleep issues every night?
Today I’m not going to try and solve your insomnia, but just share with you the things I do which, 99% of the time, help me get the sleep I need.
Yes I’m a bit like a baby in that I thrive on routine. I used to think, hey I’ll just roll with it and see what happens- lets watch four episodes of House of Cards back to back. Occasions like holidays and Christmas are exceptions to the routine rule for obvious reasons.
Generally though, I like to be heading up to bed around 10pm and asleep by 11pm at the latest. If I don’t do this I find I miss my Sleep Window, suddenly finding a second wind from somewhere, and ending up wide awake for the next couple of hours.
This routine rule also applies to the mornings. *Groan* I hear you say… Often the last thing you want to do after a bad night’s sleep is get up at a decent time, but for sleeps sake! It works by setting the body and mind’s expectation, and enabling you to have a better and deeper sleep when you hit the sack later on.
Your sleep space
Your bedroom, if you think about it, is where you spend most of your time. It needs to be conducive to a restful atmosphere. This means things put away properly, bedside areas which have just the essentials on there, a wall colour that is peaceful and cosy and a bed that is big enough for you to stretch out in.
Get a bed that is the biggest one you can fit in your bedroom. Upholstered beds are a really luxury so, if you are able then splash out. I promise you wont regret buying the biggest bed you can afford (and fit in to your room obviously). I love the Camelia bed frame from handmade bed company Button & Sprung, it would make you feel like you were waking up in a boutique hotel room every morning!
Have a look at my bedroom here if you like.
Pillows and Bedding
As well the space in your bedroom, I think to really feel blissed out when getting into bed, you need good bedding. I love Habitat and H&M for bedding and always go for 100% cotton with the highest thread count I can afford.
We’ve recently been sent some pillows to try too and it was perfect timing as ours needed replacing (they were way over the two years old recommended by the Sleep Council- eugh!). My husband, Mr OFS, loves to have a lot of pillows- at least three. I’m more a one or two pillow kinda girl for sleeping. These Sealy pillows are brilliant, they retain their shape whilst still being comfortable and bouncy. We both have a pair each of the Sealy Select Pillows, which come as a two pack, plus the Mr has a Select Clusterfill Pillow too, which is an extra supportive pillow.
To be honest I think he’s almost vertical in the bed now but he loves it. After the first night we tried the pillows he said it was the best nights sleep he’d had in years!!
Little Tricks- Big Pay Off’s
- No caffeine after 4pm. The effects of caffeine can last for hours after your last cup. So by giving myself around 6-7 hours without caffeine before my bedtime means most of the effects have worn off. I drink decaf after 4pm in case you were wondering!
- A bath or shower before bed is always relaxing and restorative. I’ll definitely have a bath if I’m feeling anxious about something and add a few drops of lavender oil to it.
- I try and not look at my phone in bed in the evening, but I do find it hard sometimes- eBay and Instagram are just too interesting! I’ve started switching my phone onto Nightshift so the light from it isn’t as glaring. I’ve found when I do this I actually use my phone for a shorter length of time, as I’m feeling sleepy more quickly.
- A Blackout blind is essential any bedroom, especially in the summer months when the sunrise is so early! I also use a sleep mask occasionally too- I’m really sensitive to light!
- Something I read on Twitter recently (please shout if it was you) that has stuck with me; On waking, don’t say to yourself, “I’m so tired”, instead say, “I’ve had enough sleep to be able to get through the day”. Try it and see if it makes a difference to your day. Mind over matter?