We all have different reasons for lying awake at night be it stress, a new baby or just struggling to unwind.
I used to be a terrible sleeper, especially while at university where I’d stay up very late to study and then struggle to switch off and fall asleep.
After many months, I developed a formula that got me off sleeping pills and into a good sleep routine. It goes without saying that sleeping pills are habit-forming and bad for us. I still take the occasional tablet when traveling but try to avoid them as much as possible.
Since starting Equilibrio, I’ve lapsed back into bad sleeping habits. I’ve been staying up late to research topics and then lie awake, gazing at the ceiling, brimming with ideas or trying to understand a piece of technology for the blog. I need to revert back to the old habits in my good-sleep-formula. Perhaps you would like to try some of these tips too?
Tip #1: Your room should be cool
Many of us overheat our rooms in winter. Your room should be at about 19 degrees Celsius for optimum sleep. Research shows that sleep normally occurs when the body’s temperature is dropping.
Tip #2: Try to go to bed and wake at the same time every day
Routine is essential. In fact a recent study shows that people with irregular sleeping patterns have an 11% higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease (for more on this study click here). I’m an early riser so I try my best to start the bed-time routine at 9:30. This way I’m ready for sleep by 10pm. Of course, this isn’t always possible and some people need less sleep than me. The average person needs 7 to 9 hours, calculate back from the usual time that you rise.
Tip #3: Don’t eat a large meal just before bed
The rule of thumb is to have dinner at least 2 hours before bed time. A large steak and a bottle of red wine just before bed keeps me wide awake and causes digestive issues.
Tip #4: Block out a much light and sound as possible
Research shows that your brain keeps working if your room is too light and if there’s noise. You think you’re sleeping but you’re actually getting less rest. I sleep with a mask but it does take some getting used to. Earplugs are incredible to silence my mind. When my brain is ticking over at a thousand miles a minute I use my earplugs. Don’t worry, you will still hear your child cry – I’ve tested this!
Tip #5: Take magnesium
I started taking SlowMag to help with cramps while cycling but I found that it help me sleep better too. I take two capsules before bed.
Tip #6: Camomile tea
There are some wonderful teas on the market that help induce sleep. Camomile is my favourite. It’s likely that warm (non-caffeinated) drinks also help with sleep because it warms you up followed by a drop in body temperature which induces sleep.
Tip #7: Breathe
Lastly, with my mask on and my earplugs in, I take three deep “yoga breaths”. Fill the lungs as deeply as you can and expel the air completely. Do this slowly three times.
Note: I’m not a doctor so please don’t follow my advice over a medical professional’s.