Getting a good night’s sleep helps us to be happier, more productive people, so here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:
1. Avoid drinking tea or coffee late at night.
2. Stop smoking – nicotine is a stimulant and so can make it difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep.
3. Go to bed at the same time each night so that you set a routine.
4. Only use the bed for sleeping and sex.
5. Use dimmers on your light switches, and dim the lights in the hours before you go to bed to mimic the change from daylight to night time.
6. Avoid taking exercise in the evening – exercise early in the day to promote restful sleep.
7. Try using affirmations, such as: “I let go of the day and enjoy restful, peaceful sleep” repeated several times while you prepare for sleep.
8. If you can’t get to sleep after a while, get up keeping the lights low and do something boring until you feel sleepy.
9. Alcohol may help you get to sleep, but you are more likely to wake during the night feeling thirsty and needing to go to the bathroom.
10. Try relaxed breathing: breath slowly and deeply concentrating on your abdomen rather than your chest.
11. Get your allergies checked out, particularly if you wake craving particular food in the middle of the night.
12. Avoid paying bills and similar jobs just before sleep.
13. Try herbal tea – chamomile, passionflower, lavender flowers or valerian are good or take a herbal supplement such as skullcap or valerian.
14. Put the essential oils lavender and clary sage on your pillow and inhale their soothing vapors as you sleep.
15. Try some flower remedies – there are lots of different types. In the Bach flower remedies, you might like to try ‘vervain’ if you find it difficult to switch off from the
day; ‘holly’ if anger and resentment keep you awake; ‘white chestnut’ for persistent unwanted thoughts; ‘aspen’ if you wake because of nightmares.
16. Try holding your frontal eminences (the bumps on your forehead, about halfway between your eyebrows and hairline) if you are awake because of stress.
17. Try taking supplements – magnesium and calcium can work well.
18. If you suffer from hot flushes/flashes, try some natural support for your endocrine system at this time. I personally recommend Neways wild yam and chaste berry cream.
19. Many alternative and complementary therapists have success with people with sleep problems. Find a local therapist and ask them if they have experience in this field.
20. Sleep problems can be a sign of an underlying medical condition (e.g. thyroid problems or depression), so get this checked out with a suitably qualified health professional.