Between the ages of 10 and 13, I had a really hard time getting to sleep. I found bedtime a chore and worked myself up about still being awake at 2am before school. It was an exhausting time for not only me but my parents too. In the last few years, I’ve managed to improve my sleep routine and get into a healthy schedule. At least once a week I stay up way too late, but I can get rid of the exhaustion within a couple of days. Here are 5 tips I use to help myself sleep when I’m not very tired.
- Sleepy body lotion from Lush is a dream (excuse the pun). I rub it on my chest, shoulders, neck, and temples every night and the smell relaxes me instantly. Whenever I smell it now, I feel calm. It contains lavender but take it from me, a lavender hater, I can’t smell it. Even my boyfriend, who struggles to sleep way more than me, finds Sleepy really helpful.
- I have this sunset clock to help me wind down before bed. You can set it for 15, 30, or 60 minutes and it starts bright and gradually dims until turning off. I find it really helpful to help my brain realise it’s time to sleep. It also has a sunrise alarm, which turns on and gets brighter for 30 minutes before the alarm goes off. It can be very helpful, but I’m rubbish at getting out of bed in the morning so I personally don’t tend to notice the light getting brighter.
- Turn screens off an hour before bed. This is something I failed to do for ages, but lately I’ve been putting my phone down early and making sure I wind down. Usually I read a couple of chapters of my book before I feel myself getting tired, but a couple of nights a week I’ll have to read a lot, and that’s okay. I used to get really wound up when I couldn’t sleep, but now I find it best to be in low lighting and just relax until I feel ready to sleep. A couple of weeks ago, I started sleeping with my phone on the other side of the room so I’m not tempted to look at it. It really works, and now I have to get up to turn my alarm off in the morning.
- A proper routine is very important.. Just before I go to bed, I head downstairs to make my lunch for the next day, fill up my water bottle, say goodnight to my parents if they’re still up, and have a quick cuddle with my cat. Then I go back upstairs, brush my teeth, moisturise, and then it’s time to read. Once you get into a solid routine, it’s easier for your mind and body to understand that it’s time to sleep.
- Calming down your mind. We all struggle with things on our mind sometimes. I find the best way to deal with this is to try and take my mind off of it. I usually count down from 1000 in my head while lying very still, and while it takes a while to get to sleep, it always works after a couple of hundred. Other times, I’ll listen to music until I fall asleep – I have Bluetooth headphones so I can play music from my phone across the room, and also a cassette player (my boyfriend made me mix-tapes: how freaking adorable!) so sometimes I’ll listen to that. Other methods could be meditation, perhaps through an app like Calm or Headspace. I know some people do things like thinking of happy memories or making up a story in your head.
I hope these tips help, because they’ve definitely helped me over the years. Do you have any sleep tips that I haven’t mentioned?