4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep | Lifestyle | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Thursday, 3 December 2015

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep | Lifestyle

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep

This post written in collaboration with Sleepy's The Mattress Experts

For many years, especially when I was a teenager, I suffered from insomnia. I've always been a night owl, but these periods of insomnia are something else. I could lie in bed for hours, trying every kind of relaxation technique to try and get my body to switch off and relax in to sleep and nothing would work. I would find myself sitting at the kitchen bench at 3 in the morning, eating slices of pineapple straight out of a tin, close to tears at the frustration of being so tired but not able to fall asleep.



Sleeping poorly can lead to poor concentration, low energy levels, and can also potentially affect your health in the long term. My insomnia always returns at times of stress or anxiety and with the last few weeks of Tafe my sleep patterns have taken a beating. After dealing with the insomnia on and off for close to twenty years now, I've discovered there are things I can do that really make a difference to how well I sleep.

I thought it was high time I shared some of my secrets for sleeping better and today I'll be sharing four simple ways I improve my sleep. Hopefully these ideas will help you improve your sleeping patterns – your body and those around you will thank you for it (I know my kids do!!).

Comfort

If you're comfortable in bed, chances are you'll fall asleep faster than if you are tossing and turning. There are many different ways you can make yourself more comfortable – these include adjusting the temperature, replacing the linen you are using, or upgrading the pillows and mattress you are lying on. An inadequate amount of support for your back, neck, and head can often lead to disrupted sleep.

Finding the right mattress is probably the best thing you can do to improve your sleep. Dave and I have been talking recently about getting a new mattress, we're just about due for one. If you think you might need a new mattress, you might want to contact specialists in such a field. You can do so by visiting websites such as the Sleepy’s website, where you can browse the features and benefits of each type of mattress available.

Routine

Having a consistent routine will train your body to know when it is ready to rest and to wake up. This does not have to be particularly complicated – it’s as easy as setting a time to fall sleep and wake up every day, then establishing a routine to do before sleep that will get you in the mood for bed. Ut's much like the things we do to help our kids settle to sleep at night, and this kind of routine can be just as important for adults too. For me, I read a couple of chapters of my book and have a cup of milk each night before bed. This signals to me that it's time to relax and I always start to feel sleepy once I see the bottom of my mug. Other things you can try aside from reading are listening to some calming music, taking a bath, yoga or meditation – anything that will help make you feel calm.

Reading and colouring in can be excellent ways to help you relax before bed
Turn off Devices

Most of us are quite attached to our screens, whether it be in the form of the television, a tablet, a computer, or a phone. All of these are quite good at providing our brain with extra sensory stimulation, which is not what you want when you’re trying to get ready for bed. A good rule is to turn off such devices at least an hour before you want to go to sleep, so your brain has enough time to unwind.

Relax

Do something relaxing before bed, just to get your mind in the right place so you can fall asleep with more ease. Take up a nice, quiet hobby that you can do in bed that doesn’t involve your phone or computer, and you will find yourself sinking into a better slumber than ever before. Colouring in can be quite good for this, as well as writing in a journal or doing visualisation techniques.

Some people can get to sleep faster than others, and if you are one of the latter, well, join the club! Try one or two of the tips above and hopefully you will start to see some kind of change within a week or two.

How do you sleep? Have you tried any of the methods suggested above? Did they work? Let me know what you do to improve your sleep, I'd love to hear your suggestions!

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