If, like me, you have a baby who seems to have regressed back to sleeping like a newborn and is waking you in the night at least twice a night, you probably want to make the most of any sleep you do manage. I didn’t realise how much I loved sleep until I had the children and it was snatched away from me. Nowadays I fantasise about getting a full eight hours….
Anyway, if have young children and need to make the most of it, or if you don’t yet have kids but need a helping hand getting off to dreamland, have a read of my tips on how to head off to sleep quickly and make the most of it…
My favourite product at the moment is the Champneys deep sleep pillow mist. I stumbled across this miracle in a bottle when I was buying gifts for my sister’s birthday back in February and I don’t know how I coped without it.
It costs £11 for 50ml, which I thought was a little steep originally, but my first bottle lasted four months, so it’s totally worth it! I snapped up a second bottle and use it religiously every night on my pillow before going to sleep.
Now, I do have to mention that Ed hates it. He can’t stand the lavender smell and once tried to hide it from me, but it helps me to drift off and totally eases my anxiety so unfortunately for him it’s here to stay.
I used to be terrible with my skin. My nighttime routine would consist of a face wipe and that was it. Lately I’ve kicked things up a notch and now my nightly regime actually helps my mind know it’s time for bed whilst also helping my skin get the care and attention it deserves. I remove makeup with micellar water on a cotton pad, before applying my facial oil and face cream. By the time my head hits the pillow I’m ready for sleep.
Switch off Electronics
This is something I struggle with. I’ve posted before about how addicted I am to social media, and I am awful for surfing the net whilst in bed at night. Ed gets frustrated when we watch a film and I ‘just have to’ do something on my phone, as it ultimately ends up leading to a quick check on all the social media platforms. I also end up checking them when I’m up in the night feeding Benjamin. I’m making a conscious effort to keep myself off my phone at certain times, so I’ll be looking at charging my phone on the other side of the room, if not out of the room altogether, to try and ensure the blue light of my phone doesn’t affect my sleep from now on.
Linked to the last point, I want to switch off each night with a book, as I used to. I love to read, but make the excuse I don’t have enough time. There’s always enough time for a couple of pages of a good book, and being off my phone will free up some spare time to read something new, whilst also helping me to drift off at night.
Hot Relaxing Bubble Bath
I used to hate baths. I was a shower girl through and through. Nowadays I still shower to wash my hair, but I also love a good hot bubble bath when I’ve had a stressful day. Again, I’m awful for taking my phone in there with me (yes, even though the splash risk is there, I like to live my life on the edge clearly), but I need to stop doing this and actually unwind. Baths are known to help relax you, and a good warm bath before bed can make all the difference to your sleep.
Kiss and Make Up
You may have read those posts promising the secrets to a lasting relationship, basically interviews with elderly people who’ve managed to stay married for years? One of the tips that comes up time and time again is to never go to sleep on an argument and I try and listen to this.
Ed and I don’t tend to argue much. When we do, it’s usually one sided as I’m a stress-head and Ed is totally laid back, to the point that it’s frustrating, but when we have had a disagreement, I always try and push aside my stubborn nature and make up before bed.
If you go to bed angry, not only could it affect your relationship, it can also affect your sleep. So always hash it out before closing your eyes!
Yes, making the bed is probably one of the most stressful activities ever created. In the summer you also run the risk of collapsing from heat exhaustion in the middle of it, but it’s worth it for a good, restful night’s sleep. There’s something so amazing about collapsing into bed at the end of a long day and feeling the crisp, clean sheets next to your skin. Pop them in the wash, dry them during the day, and make the bed at night. You’ll thank me for it.
If you don’t like sleeping in the nude (Ed swears by it, but I’m not so keen), then invest in some lovely soft silky pjs. I say invest, mine came from George at Asda, cost around £10 and probably aren’t therefore actual silk, but they feel nice and soft on my skin so I don’t care. It’s easier to fall asleep if you’re neither too hot, or too cold, so this type of nightwear is perfect.
Get Those Thoughts Down on Paper
It’s hard to switch off if your mind is full of racing thoughts. I find myself about to fall asleep and then I’m suddenly wide awake and tapping away furiously on my phone writing myself a note for the next day in case I forget something. To avoid this, I’ve started putting a notepad next to my bed, where I can jot down any thoughts before I even attempt to sleep. This is a tip I got from my friend Kirsty, and is known to help a racing mind to unwind, and is a brilliant sleep aid technique.
Lower the Lights
Only got a bright light in your bedroom? Buy yourself something dimmable like a bedside lamp with different light settings or opt for candlelight towards bedtime (just make sure never to fall asleep with a candle burning). A soft light can help you to prepare for sleep, and is much more romantic for those in a couple than a harsh bright bulb, they don’t call it mood lighting for no reason.
I am not one to meditate, nor do I have any idea how to do it, but a few deep breaths as you go to bed can really help you to relax and prepare yourself for sleep. I tend to close my eyes and think of each part of my body relaxing and stretching out – something I picked up in a yoga class whilst I was at secondary school, and this helps me to feel totally rested, and ready for sleep.