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Sleep is by far my favourite thing. I just love it but sometimes I find it hard to get to sleep!!
When I don’t sleep, I find it so hard to get through my day. After having my second child in my 30’s I found that it was harder for me to function without it!!
It’s not the same as having a baby at 21!!
This set me off on a mission to find ways I could improve my sleep.
Sleep deprivation can affect your long term health and increases your risk of suffering from depression and anxiety.
I definitely notice that when I’m sleep deprived, it affects my mood!!
Saying this, not many people tackle their sleep problems or go to their GP but there are steps you can take to improve sleep.
In the book Lost Connections, it states the improving your sleep can help with depression more than antidepressants!!
This shows that improving our sleep is vital to our health and can even help heal depression!!
How To Improve Your Sleep
1. Get Up At The Same Time Every Day
This is the most important thing you can do to improve sleep. Waking up at the same time EVERY DAY will help set your body clock.
This helps regulate when you are sleepy or feeling awake during the day. Make sure you get up at the same time on a weekend too!!
2. Only Go To Bed When You Are Truly Tired
When we spend long periods of time in bed awake, we can create a negative feeling around going to sleep.
To help with this, only go to bed when you are really tired and if you can’t sleep after 20 mins, get up and do something that will help you feel tired.
3. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
We all know that caffeine keeps us awake but even having caffeine after 2 pm can affect how you sleep.
In the book Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker explains more deeply how caffeine affects sleep.
Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, which means it actually takes 12 hours to leave your system!!
Make sure you only drink caffeine in the morning and try to limit the amount you have.
4. Use A Lightbox In The Morning
Lightboxes are great, they also help set your body clock and helps you differentiate between daytime and night time.
Especially in the winter months, when we don’t get to see much sunlight. Use for 20 mins before 11 am.
5. Meditate Before Bed
We have all had it where we can’t sleep because our minds are racing with to-do lists, problems and worries.
Meditating is a great way to help calm your mind.
It doesn’t happen overnight, so practice for a least a month to see results.
Meditating before bed is a great way to relax before sleeping.
My favourite meditation at the minute is Purify Your Soul by Glen Harrold. It’s part of a six series of meditations that use the Solfeggio Sonic Sounds, which boosts the meditation power.
Sleep is the best meditation.Dalai Lama
6. Use EFT To Reduce Stress
I love EFT and use it every day!!
EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique is a great tool to help you relax and worry less.
Therefore if you use EFT regularly, you will start to feel a lot calmer and find it easier to get to sleep.
I love using EFT before I go to sleep and there is a great EFT meditation you can get from The Tapping Solution HERE.
If you want to learn more about this amazing technique, I highly recommend The Tapping Solution book!!
7. Exercise daily
Exercise is a must to help with anxiety and depression, especially if you do it outside!! I’m a true believer in the mind-body connection.
Even walking for 20 mins a day can make a big difference to your health and also help you sleep better.
When I was pregnant, I couldn’t sleep unless I went for a walk every day!! Luckily it was during the summer 😉
Exercising in the morning sunshine will give you a double boost too!!
I also love Yoga and I definitely find it helps calm my mind and help me have a good night sleep too!!
8. Avoid Napping
When you nap for long periods of time or close to your bedtime, you are going to reduce your drive for sleep.
Try to avoid napping altogether, unless you are ill or you are feeling really run down.
However, always listen to your body and if you need extra sleep go with it!!
The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.E. Joseph Cossman
9. Create A Sleep Routine
Babies thrive when they have a sleep routine and adults are no different.
Try reducing lighting, have a relaxing bath, reading or journaling before you go to sleep.
Having a sleep routine helps your body know it’s time to go to sleep.
10. Take A Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium is a great supplement to help you get a better night sleep.
You can have the tablet form or try the bath salts, which also helps if you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome
11. Improve Your Sleep Environment
We need to be in a dark, cool environment in order to fall asleep. Invest in a comfortable bed and blackout blind to help improve sleep.
Also, avoid using electronics in bed and keep your room clear of clutter.
Remember improving your sleep can take time, so be patient with yourself. Taking daily action will help, so try to be consistent.
Let me know in the comments if you have any other great tips on improving sleep.
Laura x P.S If you love a good challenge, then download my FREE self-love journaling challenge HERE!