By Jessica, June 18, 2013
Not being able to sleep can be extremely irritating, you know you’re exhausted but your brain won’t stop working – in fact it seems to go into over-time.
What if you’ve tried all the usual sleeping tips – don’t consume caffeine after lunch, don’t watch TV before bed etc., and they just don’t seem to be working?
Well there are some alternative tips to help you catch them much needed zzzz’s.
- Wear Socks to Bed
It’s often heard that you shouldn’t wear socks to bed to let your feet breathe, but Swiss researchers have found that people drift off to sleep easier when their feet and hands are warmer than air temperature. And chances are – you’ll kick the socks off in your sleep, it’s a win win situation!
- Spray a Sleep-Inducing Scent on Your Pillows
Spraying lavender on your pillow is a great way to help you nod off at night. The scent off lavender and other herbs such as camomile can help relax you. Mix the essential oils with water and spray onto your pillows before you go to bed.
- Small Snack – IF you’re hungry
Now it’s no secret that snacking late at night is detrimental for weight loss and a full belly can keep you awake, but trying to sleep on an empty stomach can also keep you awake.
If you haven’t eaten four hours before bed and are feeling peckish, a light snack is ok – avoid any caffeinated products (yes, that means chocolate is out of bounds), cheese, and alcohol.
- Get the Temperature Right
To get to sleep at night your body must be at the correct internal temperature, to get this right, the best temperature to set your room to is between 18 to 22°C. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference.
- Banish the Buzzer
Brightly lit alarm clocks in your bedroom are a big no-no. The longer it takes you to fall asleep, the more you look at the clock worrying about how many hours you have until you get up.
Either cover up the bright light so you can’t be distracted by it anymore, or use the alarm on your mobile phone.
- Use Sounds or Music
If you find yourself distracted, thinking about a million things at once, a good way to switch off is to listen to some relaxing music or sounds, such as atmospheric beach/water sounds, or classic/folk slow-paced music.
Be careful not to listen to music with lyrics that will get your brain thinking or that you can relate to, as this will have the opposite effect.
- Exercise at the Right Time
Many people think exercising before bed will leave them tired out and ready for sleep, but in fact it has the opposite effect. After exercise you feel energised and alert, you will be on a buzz.
Exercise earlier in the day and it will help you have a deeper sleep later that night even though many hours have passed since you exercised.
- Make your Bed a Haven
Your mind should associate your bed with a relaxing haven, and with sleeping only. Don’t spend large amounts of time relaxing in bed during the day, you want your mind to only associate your bed with sleeping.
Get into a habit of making your bed up every morning, you’d be surprised how much more appealing getting into a made up bed is. Similarly, wash your sheets regularly – clean sheets make a world of difference to your comfort.