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.