Tips To Get To Sleep

5 min read
Tips To Get To Sleep

Having trouble getting to sleep? Sleep is important. It is easier to practice being a strong, calm woman and mother when you’re well rested rather than running on empty. The quality of your sleep affects your life in the short and long term too. It has implications for heart health, mental health and life expectancy!

Poor sleep being unable to fall asleep, stay asleep and awake refreshed can be a sign of a medical condition such as sleep apnoea, or can be a symptom of a sleep disorder. It is worth getting these checked out by a health professional if these simple remedies don’t help.

General sleep tips

Your bed is for sleeping and sex. Not for eating a snack, not for watching TV or crocheting while on the phone. Boundaries in the bedroom, such as not using it for take-home work or for watching the latest show on your tablet, can help you to keep it straight in your mind that bed is for sleeping.

It takes your brain about half an hour to switch off after exposure to bright, blue end of the spectrum light and due to the wonderful and easy technology we have access to, it’s easy to take it to bed with us and browse Stay At Home Mum before bed. Put your phone, laptop and tablet to bed when you feed the pets, and sleep better for it.

If your problem is falling asleep

Having trouble getting to sleep is very common. In this day and age of 24/7 lives, electronic stimulation, demands on our time, it’s no wonder that switching off and getting forty winks is difficult for some. Even if you’re exhausted, running on empty and bone tired, if you lie down and stare at the ceiling for what seems like the whole night, only to arise in the morning even more exhausted, then here are some ideas for changing that habit.

  • Keep a diary (food and activity) for a few days, say one or two weekdays and then the weekend. Is something upsetting your tummy so you can’t sleep? Are you eating enough at the right times to get you through the night? What’s your water intake like? A quick diet and activity check-up could reveal some surprising insights into your sleep issues.
  • I know what it’s like. You need a coffee to get started in the morning. Then around morning tea, a cuppa keeps your brain going/buzzing. After lunch, another cappuccino to get you through the afternoon slump, the kindy and school run and the “fun” afternoon routine. Then you’re wired by the time it’s dark and unable to get to sleep, so you sleep badly and the next day back to the coffee. Gradually try to set aside the crutch of caffeine and drink something else, such as a herbal tea. Swap the morning one for a lovely jasmine green tea, or treat yourself to some specialist blend of rooibos, herbal or flavoured tea. Switching just one cup of coffee to something else, even if it’s still a tea, reduces your caffeine intake by 50-70% while still keeping the hot cuppa routine.
  • Think about living in the past dusk meant a wind down, lights were dimmed, quiet settled into the house. Try to do less in the evening, and wind down with music and a glass of wine rather than watching television late into the night.
  • Exercise in the evening also improves sleep. Go for a walk after dinner, a run on the treadmill, yoga before brushing your teeth or twenty star jumps before pjs. You could also try having a bath or shower so that you get warm and then cool down afterwards, this has been shown to improve sleep!
  • Address the stress in your life. Stress and distress are going to put your cortisol levels up and that’s going to interfere with sleeping. Look at the good and the bad in your life and take charge.
  • Check your room is it quiet, inviting, smells good and comfortable? If you can make easy changes, such as new sheets, better curtains or ear plugs, then make them, right now! Check that your pillow is comfortable too.Tips To Get To Sleep
  • Consider changing up your sleeping environment. A cool room with a fan on, rather than a heated room; more pjs and less blankets; turning the clock radio to the wall rather than staring in your face.
  • Download a meditation app, or a medley of music that runs for about an hour. Put it on when you settle, and learn to be mindful of each word or piece of music. In practicing meditation this way, you can help sleep to steal over you. Alternately, count to 12 humming the number and letting each thought pass through your mind rather than focusing on it.
  • Put a notebook beside the bed, and write down the stream of consciousness of what’s on your mind, be it good or bad, troubling or wonderful. Get everything out! Then settle down for sleep. Repeat if your mind starts racing or one particular thought is troubling you.
  • Get an oxytocin (the love hormone!) rush! Cuddle a teddy bear, have sex, read a nice story to your kids, or massage your hands and feet with some sweet-scented oil.
  • Have a warm cup of milk or chamomile tea (traditional assistants for sleep) to wind down.
  • Consider including alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, herbs, acupuncture, yoga or chiropractic in your day to improve your night.
  • Use some aromatherapy such as lavender, chamomile, jasmine or vanilla in the bath or shower or make a scented pillow to slip under the sheets.

Have you got any tried and true tips to get you off to sleep?

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About Author

Saskia Brown

Saskia is mama wearing lots of different hats while parenting two small girls. She is a midwife, is married to a scientist and lives in the Adelaide H...Read Moreills in South Australia. When she's not juggling parenting and working, she likes to do a lot of walking, photography and crafting. She enjoys yoga when the childerbeasts are asleep, writing when the mood strikes, reading a good organisational blog or dreaming of far off places. Read Less

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