Sleeplessness and insomnia are common complaints – but that doesn’t mean we should just put up with them. Regular, quality sleep is essential to our mental and physical health. There is often some trial and error involved with getting back into good sleeping patterns, but by making some changes and committing to them the vast majority of sleeping issues can be resolved.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Turn off all screens at least one hour before going to bed and have a bath, meditate or relax with your favourite face mask on instead. Try and go to bed and get up at about the same time every day.
- Avoid coffee and other stimulants after midday. Eat your largest meal at lunch and a lighter meal at dinner to ensure your digestive system isn’t overloaded. Alcohol can help you fall asleep but can mean a restless night. Cut back or avoid it completely.
- If your thoughts whirr relentlessly at night, write them down. Then, give yourself permission to stop thinking about them right now – you can pick them up in the morning. Problems also seem bigger in the middle of the night. You’ll often wonder why you were so worried in the light of day.
- Stress at work or in your personal life can play havoc with your sleep. Work out ways you can reduce unnecessary stress and commit to giving yourself regular breaks from stressful situations. This doesn’t mean relying on that holiday you take once a year, but rather giving yourself permission to head out for a walk or take time out for yourself as often as you need.
- If you’ve tried all of the above, look into taking a supplement like melatonin or valerian, which many people swear by. When taking supplements it’s best get advice from an expert, and always start out with the lowest dose.