I’ve been doing a lot of research on sleep in the last few years because I’ve all of a sudden I’ve become kind of bad at it. I used to be a champion sleeper but now, at least twice a week, I have a very hard time getting to sleep. It gets worse when I’m stressed and busy so I’ve been trying out a few new methods recently to help me get some decent shut-eye. These may or may or not work for you but if you’ve experienced the agony of insomnia, you’d try just about anything to fix it…
Try sleeping minimally
I read an article in Reader’s Digest at the doctor’s office not long ago about a guy who did a minimalist bedding experiment. Basically, he slept on a mattress with a fitted sheet, one flat pillow and nothing else. He was just comfortable enough to sleep but when he woke up in the morning he wasn’t in a delicious bed cocoon that was impossible to leave. He’d wake up at 6am and get up immediately, something he was unable to do when his bed was made up with lovely sheets and a big snuggly blanket. Try making your bed less inviting to make your morning exit less traumatic.
Have a small but healthy snack right before bed
One of the reasons why often wake up feeling tired and headachy in the morning is because we’re hungry and thirsty. Have a slow-burning snack like an apple with some almond butter and a small glass of water before bed to avoid that flu-like early morning feeling.
Choose the purpose of your bedroom
Not all sleep problems are created equal. Some people have no trouble falling asleep, but waking up proves to be a challenge. For some people, it’s the opposite. If you struggle to wake up in the morning make sure your room is designed for waking up – make it light, bright and energising. If your biggest problem is falling asleep, make your room dark, cool and quiet. Let your bedroom be the remedy.
Make it chilly
As a general rule, you want to keep your room cool. Heat is the enemy of sleep so make sure you’re always a little bit chilly because it’s almost impossible to fall asleep without dropping your core temperature.
Start your wind down early
You should start dimming the lights, turning the volume down on any electronic devices and start mentally preparing yourself for bed a few hours before you intend on actually going to sleep. Your brain can’t switch from full-on flickering and loud TV shows to restful sleep in the blink of an eye, so you need to let your body relax into it.