Do you ever have those days where you feel practically exhausted all day, eagerly awaiting the 5pm departure from work so you can rush home into your pyjamas and crawl into bed? And then the unimaginable happens, you have been craving sleep and a recharge all day, even being as bold as to say you don’t care about eating because all you want is sleep, but then midnight comes and you are still tossing and turning desperately searching for one more cold side of a pillow counting down the maximum hours of sleep you can get from that night, Familiar? Well, this is happening to me oh to frequently lately. I don’t know if it is because I have bitten off more than I can chew, I have a full-time job, a bar job whilst working on various other projects, a new house in dire need of some diy and redecorating and serious case of FOMO which means I can’t go more than a couple of days without seeing my girls or my adorable nephew along with trying to squeeze in some token gym, horse and family time in there, and we won’t go into the number of Suits episodes I can squeeze into a night (please no series 6). In all, I sometimes wonder if there is any point in going home. With all this going on, when my morning alarm starts going off my intention of achieving the long list of what successful people do before breakfast goes out the window along with the alarm and I am lucky if I even brush my hair. So lately I have been making a conscious effort to make sure I get good quality sleep most nights for the sake of everyone. So these are my steps to ensure you get the perfect nights sleep.
I know I talk a lot about exercise (probably more than I do it) but I find going to the gym hugely impacts my quality of sleep, not only does it use up some energy it gives me time to reflect, let things go and clear my mind so by the time I step foot in home I am ready to chill out. You don’t have to go to the gym, go for a long walk on your lunch break or once you have finished work!
This is a no brainer, your diet massively determines your energy levels, I am not going to preach that I eat a healthy diet all the time, but I do ensure I get three good meals a day and stay away from the obvious no go at night. Always remember water as well I can’t stress enough how much drinking enough H2o impacts different factors in your day.
3. Stay away from your room
Leave your bedroom for the good stuff…. and of course, I mean sleep! I love my own company and peace and quiet so I can actually think when I need to do work, answer emails or complete a project I have been working on, so I developed this horrible habit of working from my bed which I had to break. Stay away from your bedroom until you are ready to sleep and use the sitting room for lounging around.
4. Cut off time for emails
It can be 7pm and I will start on my to do list which contains less than a handful of jobs and all of a sudden it’s nearly tomorrow and I still have things to do. We can make work out of work, so give yourself time to get the important things done then turn it off. Your evenings are for you and you’ll feel so much better the next day if you’re not a walking zombie.
5. Put technology down and pick up your book
This is bold coming from me, I have been known to make space for my mac, iPad, phone and book in my bed when I go to sleep, however following on from the last point, stop the emails, stop the social media and pick up your book, dim the lights to a reading light and relax! Reading is a great way to make you tired and removing the bright glare from your mobile phone will help you drift off faster.
6. Less layers
Even though at night you may feel freezing and you may be adamant you need the electric blanket, hot water bottle, slipper socks on along with your brush cotton pyjamas and university hoody just to exist… you don’t. Have you ever fallen asleep and found when you woke up you had taken layers of clothes off in your sleep? Yes? This is because you need to be cool, your body drops in temperature to fall asleep so if you are layering up to go on an expedition to the North Pole think again. Be brave it will be worth it.
7. Leave the caffeine at the office
This is the one that you wouldn’t think you would need to tell someone who struggles to fall asleep. I reach for my coffee and green tea as I roll out of my bed in the morning so why do I still reach for these when I get home knowing full well I will look like an owl at 11? I don’t know… habit and because they are warm and soo gloriously delicious. These sneaky little night time treats have had to stop, though. I have my last green tea in the afternoon and no more until the next day. Unless I’m working in the pub and then one cappuccino won’t hurt really now will it?
If you have tried all of the above and you are still struggling, there are so many other factors that may help you get to sleep especially if you feel anxious and stressed about various things. Find something that completely takes your mind off things, go for a run, have a bath, read a book do some baking, cook for a friend, watch a funny film, clean the house or drink a lot of wine and hope for the very best! No, seriously I recommend seeing a doctor if all else fails no one should be deprived the luxury of a good night’s sleep.