You know the drill. Put down that smartphone, tablet or laptop at least one hour before bed. This way you’ll allow your brain the time it needs to wind down, so you will naturally fall asleep quicker. Blue light from electronic devices has been proven to keep our minds wired, even when we feel tired. If you really can’t keep away from your phone before bed, at least change your settings to dark mode and avoid staring at the screen for too long. Read a book instead or set out your outfit for the next day. Having your morning well planned out can assist in restful sleep, so get organising even if you are working from home.
Sleepy Time Tea
Herbal teas have numerous health properties, including helping your brain produce the hormones necessary for deep, restorative sleep. If you have been waking up feeling sleepy, sluggish or ill-rested, consider adding a few teas to your diet. Drink up a cup of refreshing fennel tea in the morning to get your digestive tract up and moving, then two to three cups of green tea during the day to boost your brain power. If you can’t stand the taste of green tea, look out for mint or lemon infused blends at the store. These have just as much energy-enhancing properties without the bitter aftertaste of pure green tea. Finish up your evening with a cup of chamomile or lavender tea to put yourself to rest in no time.
Lavender essence really is the stuff of dreams. Pick up a bottle of lavender oil from your nearest pharmacy to add to your nightly bedtime routine. You can add a few drops to a warm, soothing bubble bath or douse your pillow with a sprinkle of this oil to get you off to dreamland. Lavendar oil is known to help alleviate anxiety and sleeplessness, so keep it handy for those nights when sleep is its most elusive.
Clear Your Mind
One of the biggest causes of sleepless nights is a troubled mind. But you don’t need to let your thoughts get the better of you. Practice deep breathing exercises before bedtime to lull your mind to sleep. Alternatively, try out meditation or mindful thinking to help clear your head. If that doesn’t work for you, write your thoughts down in a journal. Spend five minutes writing down all the thoughts mulling around your head. This doesn’t need to be perfectly eloquent, it’s simply about dumping your thoughts onto paper. Once you have cleared out the cobwebs, make a list of things you are grateful for. This may seem silly at first, but making a daily gratitude list has proven to change negative thought patterns over time. Keep at it and your dreams will surely turn sweet within a few weeks.
With the chilly season approaching, it’s important to get your bedroom prepared. Keeping warm and snug in bed is vital to a good night’s rest. But you don’t want to overdo it. Too many blankets can weigh you down and make you uncomfortable, leading to restlessness. Instead of piling on the winter blankets, consider investing in an electric sheet. Switch it on 30 minutes before bedtime to warm up the bed and help get you to sleep. Microwaveable wheat bags are also great for keeping warm and inducing good sleep. Remember to keep a window open just a touch to ensure good ventilation, as well. Your brain needs adequate oxygen even when you are sleeping.
Still struggling to get up in the morning? Check out our guide to getting yourself up and moving, even in winter.
Parents, we know that this time is also difficult for the little ones. If you have been struggling to get your kiddies to sleep under lockdown, try out these essential bedtime routines.
Goodnight and sleep tight, Joburg!