I feel like it’s something we’ve been hearing for our whole lives, ‘Get more sleep’ but sleep hygiene is an often overlooked part of everyone’s self care regime that we all need to try a little bit harder to conquer. Personally, I’ve had insomnia since I was very very young so anytime there is an article on how to get better sleep, believe that I have read it and tried it. And all the fads, tried them too. Here are the ways that I know will help you on your way to great sleep hygiene and better overall self care.
Get out of bed in the morning! I know it sounds dumb, but if you lay in bed until 1pm you will not be getting back to sleep before midnight. No matter how tired you are, try and wake up and actually get up at the same time every day. Also, no naps! Try for 14-17 hours of being awake and up each day, do some exercise, but the end of this time, your body should be tired and craving sleep.
Invest in some good quality bed linens and pillow. Something that is a natural fibre, like linen, cotton, eucalyptus or bamboo will ensure your body temperature is regulated throughout the night and your skin can still breathe at the same time. If it’s got any polyester, don’t even bother. Also your pillow is important! I tried a few different types before I got one that really works for me. But now I can’t sleep without my memory foam pillow. I never knew I needed the neck support so bad, until I actually had it. This doesn’t have to be expensive either. Target and Kmart have some great 100% cotton options or even websites like catch.com.au have some really nice bamboo sheets and quilts for a fraction of what you would pay in a homewares store.
Get an eye mask. An eye mask is great for blocking out light yes, but it really helps to put your body into sleep mode. Once it’s on there’s no checking your phone, or watching tv. If you continually use a sleep mask, it trains your body to know that once it’s on, it’s time to sleep. Bonus points if you get a silk eye mask to help counter wrinkles from laying on your side. Trust me, this is my must have!
Stay away from caffeine and nicotine. - Duh.
Have a hot bath a couple of hours before bed. Throw in some bath salts (all of ours have different calming properties) and have a good soak. A bath or shower will bring your body temperature up and then, as you get out and your body temp goes down, the drop in temperature causes drowsiness.
Magnesium. This is one of those things that I never thought would actually make a difference but really works! I spray magnesium oil spray onto my feet (and all my old achy joints) every night before bed. Spraying your magnesium oil into your feet is great if you’re just using it for sleep. It absorbs into your system so much quicker than if you took it as a supplement, and because it’s on your feet, you're not really going to notice that it’s there. If you spray your stomach or chest, you can kind of feel if when you move around in the sheets. It’s like having dried salt water on you, it take a night or two to get used to. But for me this is a game changer.
These are my can’t sleep without tips. Try them out, let me know how you go. If you have something that I don’t, that sends you off to sleep without popping a pill, let me know!
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