Can’t Sleep? Where do I begin?! It’s something we’ve all struggled with at some point in life. You always hear old wives tales of how to improve your sleeping pattern and overall relaxation. But do any of them actually work?
Now, I’m definitely somebody who has on-off struggles with sleep deprivation. I can have nights where I sleep like a log and feel awful in the mornings and have other days where it takes me hours to get to sleep yet somehow I survive the next day.
Overall, I’d say I’m pretty bad when it comes to trying to sleep. But what can we do to help us comfortably (and quickly) reach the land of nod? Well, we have a few tips for you. When you can’t sleep, it can be a nightmare to your health. Not even mentioning your brain functionality.
1. Cut out visual technology
This sounds like the sort of thing that you might not think of, but it’s hard to switch your brain off when you’ve been stimulated by television, video games or your phone screen. Much like smoking, it’s a stimulant that can keep you awake and your brain active and focussed.
Though it seems like a difficult request as most of the time we do it without thinking, it’s best to try not to go on your phone before you sleep if you can, try not to use any technology that requires focus and interaction (phones and video games) an hour before you go to bed to allow your brain to wind down.
If you can’t sleep, cutting out TV could also be beneficial but it can also be used as a tool to calm you down.
2. Read a book
Now, I know in this day an age that most people don’t read books anymore, a lot of people either read blogs or online articles.
If you’re thinking of doing that before bed – don’t! As I mentioned in the post above, digital screens can be a stimulant for your brain and you will easily be distracted from incoming Facebook notifications and tweets.
A Kindle is a good piece of tech to read on but still, there’s nothing that beats a good book for me. Sit in bed or in an armchair with a nice reading lamp on and physically turn the pages of a novel or biography and let your brain unwind.
I try and set myself a target, not too longwinded but enough to get you winding down. I usually aim for a chapter, if the chapters are relatively short, set yourself a target of 10 pages then end on the next convenient paragraph. This (for me) is one of the best tips to help if you can’t sleep.
3. Keep a notepad/diary by the bed
This might sound like a strange one, but keep a notepad by your bed, some of your best ideas come from your subconscious. In fact, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have both admitted to writing songs based on dreams they had.
The problem with dreams is you can forget what you dreamt about within 5 minutes of waking up. So what’s the best solution? Keep a notepad next to your bed so you can jot them down. That way you can look back at them in the morning, analyse them or just remember a good idea.
It’s also good to write down every thought that comes into your head before you go to sleep, that way your mind can be at ease knowing that you’ve already written a list of things to consider for the morning.
4. Try and leave your work at work
Sure, this can be easier said than done, but trust me, if you can give yourself at least an hour period to wind down before bed, you will feel so much better for it.
Try not to even think about work, as your mind goes into a frenzy worrying, planning the day, fretting about what happened yesterday.
Being able to differentiate work from your home life is imperative to a good nights sleep. Trust me, I’ve been there. More often than not, work is fine and your anxieties are all in your head. So you ruin yourself for no good reason.
Remember all those years when your parents would say “why have you left your essay until last minute?!” They’re correct. Not only will you not be able to produce your best, you’re also knackering your body for the next day.
5. Still can’t sleep? Download our Sleepiest app
If you’re not a big fan of reading but love a good story, why not listen to an audiobook? When I was young I listened to Stephen Fry’s narration of the Harry Potter books on tape cassette, these were perfect for me to wind me down but still get round to the story. I would listen to chapters of the audiobook when my eyes felt too itchy to read.
Now, I would be a fool if I didn’t tell recommend you listen to some of the best bedtime stories. These beautifully narrated tales will get you snoozing in stellar form. So why not listen to some of the great stories on Sleepiest to help drift you off without the sheer boredom of counting sheep.
At Sleepiest, we have a wide range of stories and soundscapes that I think you should all take advantage of. I’ve managed to get some excellent nights sleep thanks to them and I think you all will too!
So what are you waiting for?
I’m not claiming to be a ‘sleep wizard’. But hopefully, these go-to’s will help aid you in your battle against sleep deprivation. We hope you enjoy your slumber.
So head to our website and download the app today!