This is a paid collaboration with The Restored.
Most of us have a tricky relationship with sleep, and I am no different. Failing to get a good night's sleep can result in me feeling lethargic, unable to concentrate and anxious. Quality sleep helps us to restore energy as well as both physical and mental health, so it is really important. In fact, Dr Matthew Walker says: “Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day“. In this post I have teamed up with The Restored to talk about why sleep is so important and how to make small changes that will help you to sleep better.
I recently took The Restored Health Quiz and wasn't surprised to find that I need to improve my sleep habits. My eating habits are mostly healthy with treats thrown in, and I exercise a few times a week, but sleep eludes me.
My issues with sleep
When my mum died when I was 19 years old I started to have problems getting to sleep. I found a coping mechanism which was to fall asleep to something on the tv, and Family Guy was the easiest thing to fall asleep to because it was so familiar to me. I bet you have that program that is so familiar to you, and offers comfort because you don't have to pay attention to it. Over the years I managed to kick the habit of needing to fall asleep to something on the tv, and now when I struggle I put on podcasts especially designed to make you fall asleep.
It is fair to say that getting to sleep isn't a problem for me any more, however staying asleep is another story altogether.
I really struggle to stay asleep throughout the night, and often get up in the night and go and sleep in another room for a change of scenery.
Tips for getting a good night's sleep
The Restored have put together some sleep tips that I am going to be using over the coming weeks to help me to sleep better. Their belief is that improving your health doesn't have to be difficult, and by focusing on the right things you don't have to make massive changes to feel the benefit. Often focusing on the 20% of effort that will govern 80% of your results means that implementing lifestyle habits can improve your health without it feeling like a burden. Here are some of their sleep tips.
Switch off mobile phones and screens 45 minutes before bed
My phone always has notifications popping up, so not only am I contending with the light emitted from the screen, my brain isn't getting a chance to switch off before I turn the lights off. By stopping use of my phone and other screened devices 45 minutes before bed I can unwind before trying to get to sleep.
Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day
Going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day will help to reset your body clock and ease you back into a natural sleeping pattern. It might be hard to give up those weekend lay ins, but it will make Monday mornings so much easier.
Take a hot shower or bath 30 minutes before bed
I love any excuse for a bath, especially with gorgeous bath products. Taking a bath or shower 30 minutes before bed helps you to unwind and relax before bed, and this is a tip that I can definitely get on board with.