How to sleep better at night

How to sleep betterHow to sleep better
I love sleep. I love naps, I love lie ins and I love early nights. If I could be an animal I’d be a cat because they can sleep at any time of day for hours on end, plus they get fed, cuddled and don’t have to go out running – perfect. We all know we’re supposed to be getting 8 hours of sleep every night but sometimes just getting a couple hours of sleep can be a struggle. Not getting a good night’s sleep means we wake up tired and reach for the coffee or sugary breakfasts to give us a boost. The rest of the day we struggle to concentrate and constantly fight the urge to doze off. Too little sleep increases our hunger and cravings for carbs and fat (hello donuts) and leaves you feeling irritable and forgetful.

Dr Lauren Kita has shared her tips on how to sleep better as part of #HillarysWeekofSleep and I’ve been trialling them to see what works for me. Today I want to share my favourites of Dr Kita’s tips but if you want the full lowdown then be sure to click the link.

Create a relaxing sleep routine

Having a relaxing bedtime routine allows your body to wind down. This is something I am terrible at as I often go to the gym late, or stay up to write blog posts, answer emails etc. I’ve really tried to switch off my laptop and put away my phone to do a bedtime routine, with varied levels of success. This is the routine I’ve been trying: have a warm bath with a few drops of lavender oil, put on your pyjamas, brush your teeth, get into bed and read a chapter of a book. Sometimes I’m so tired I just don’t have the patience to wait for the bath to run, so I’ll have a shower instead. And sometimes I’ve replaced a book with my phone (it’s like a magnet to my hand, I swear), but all in all I’ve been enjoying making more of bedtime and not just hurriedly getting ready then collapsing into bed. I’ve started using a new nano-b toothbrush* because not only is it a fancy looking toothbrush, but the bristles are coated with gold and bamboo charcoal which are naturally antibacterial and whitening.

Write in a journal

Dr Kita recommends writing down any worries or things to remember, so that our minds can truly switch off when it comes to falling asleep. Often my last thoughts at night are of the next day and what I need to do, which delays me falling asleep peacefully because my mind is active and not restful. I’ve started keeping a notebook on my bedside table to jot down those last-minute gems of inspiration so that I don’t have to worry about forgetting them come morning.

Practice a relaxing yoga routine

I’ve tried relaxing yoga sequences before sleep and more energetic sequences in the morning. Yoga is great before bedtime as with the right sequence it can release tension and leave you feeling calm and relaxed. Dr Kita loves the Feet up the Wall pose, which is basically lying on your back, with your bum against the wall and feet and legs straight up against the wall. In this pose you’ll experience a shift in gravity after being on your feet all day and it will help your mind to settle.

Wake up with natural light or a natural light alarm clock

I am queen of snoozing. I set my alarm half an hour earlier than I actually need to wake up just so that I can repeatedly hit the snooze button until I absolutely have to get out of bed. It’s a cruel routine. I wake up suddenly to the sound of my alarm, then dance in and out of sleep, constantly being startled by my alarm and panicking that I’ve snoozed one too many times. This is why I was most intrigued by the Lumie Bodyclock*, which stimulates a sunrise to gradually wake you up. It uses increasing natural light to slowly wake you up as well as fading lights to wind you down. The first few times I was sceptical and still set my loud, brash iPhone alarm because I did not want to be late for work, but I have been won over and I love the bodyclock. I’m not quite dancing around singing ‘A dream is a wish your heart makes’ with birds and mice helping me to get ready in the mornings yet, but it has definitely improved my mood.

For even more tips on how to sleep better, make sure you read Dr Kita’s top 10 tips. Thank you to Hillarys and Dr Kita for gifting me the Lumie Bodyclock and for teaching me how to get a better night’s sleep.

How do you ensure you sleep better at night? What are your best sleep tips? Have you ever experienced not being able to sleep well at night, if so how did it make you feel? Let me know in the comments below.

Items marked with * are PR samples.

13 Comments

  1. emily couture
    June 11, 2015 / 9:56 am

    These are such great tips! The Lumie Bodyclock sounds amazing :)

    emily xx

    emilycouture95.blogspot.co.uk

    • Gymbags Gladrags
      Author
      June 21, 2015 / 10:00 pm

      It is really helpful :) x

  2. June 11, 2015 / 10:06 am

    I always try to unwind before bed and have chosen to read before bed and switch off my phone – it helps me sleep so much better! xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

    • Gymbags Gladrags
      Author
      June 21, 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Switching off your phone is such a good idea – I need to do that. Even though I’ve tried to not use it before bed now I still get tempted to sneak a peek x

  3. June 14, 2015 / 9:44 pm

    I’d love to have one of those natural light alarm clocks, my boyfriend gets up later than me though. I’ve also wanted to get into yoga for like forever, will get round to it
    Lauren
    livinginaboxx | bloglovin

    • Gymbags Gladrags
      Author
      June 21, 2015 / 10:02 pm

      If the alarm is on your side of the bed hopefully it won’t wake him up. It’s great as it doesn’t make a sound. Try downloading the Yoga Studip app, it has great sequences that are easy to follow x

  4. Shen
    June 20, 2015 / 11:16 pm

    I know this wasn’t the aim of the post but it made me giggle!! You are so like me! When I get up in the morning I think how many hours it is till I can get back in bed. Is that really bad?!!?
    Anyway back to the post. Some really good tips here! I’m intrigued by the body clock alarms, my window is east facing so the sun often wakes me up but far too early at the moment. I need a more relaxing sleep routine too. She says at gone 11pm on her laptop… Hmm…

    p.s. I usually have 4 alarms in the morning over a half an hour period. ;)

    xxx

    • Gymbags Gladrags
      Author
      June 21, 2015 / 10:06 pm

      Haha sometimes I wake up and seriously wish I was a cat. My bedroom window is the same, the sun was waking me up too early. Now I keep the curtains closed and rely on the bodyclock. Haha I just had one alarm but I hit the snooze button continuously for 30-45 minutes every morning :( xxx

  5. Fab Giovanetti
    June 21, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    I love my Lumie bodyclock, I got it ages ago and it still does the trick, just a PAIN to change the alarm time!

    • Gymbags Gladrags
      Author
      June 21, 2015 / 10:07 pm

      Oh no, I haven’t tried to change the alarm time yet – not looking forward to that now!

      • Fab Giovanetti
        June 22, 2015 / 4:47 pm

        I had to download the PDF instructions but I eventually made it!

  6. Eat-Train-Dressup
    July 20, 2015 / 11:55 am

    Great tips, thank you very much. These days not sleeping too well..

    • September 10, 2015 / 9:00 am

      Sorry lovely, I’ve only just seen your comment. I hope you are sleeping better now x