You don’t know how amazing a solid nights sleep is until you don’t have them anymore; take me as a case study. I’m a natural night owl, my brain suddenly switches on at 1am and I also have two kids that keep me busy, and yes, they can be light sleepers too. The result; bad sleep = exhaustion. It’s something I am working to fix because I know very well that when I am tired, I have a shorter temper, attention span and generally less motivation.
Whilst there’s no ‘cure all’ for sleepless nights (after all we all have our own reasons for not getting enough!), this post I’ve written in collaboration with beds covers a few things I have recently implemented to make what sleep I do get, a bit more pleasant.
1. Sleep tracking
I have only recently started sleep tracking, and I’ll share my results:
As you can see I am very up and down!
I wear my iWatch at night and use an app in order to track. Most fitness bands will track your sleeping, you can also just use a phone on it’s own to track your sleep periods.
I can see that I clearly need to go to bed earlier than 3:15am, and when I do wake, I need to go back to sleep (for example if a kiddo wakes up, I might start looking at my phone). The good thing about doing this is that it gives a much clearer idea of how much sleep you’re getting and how good the quality of that sleep is.
Lavender is a classically good scent for getting you to sleep – I also quite like menthol type scents, such as Eucalyptus. Other essential oils which are good for inducing sleep are Chamomile, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang and Cedarwood. You can buy specific blends too. In order to get a softer scent, I burn it in an oil burner with a water base, and I use an electric one at night!
You can also use pillow spray, and lavender balms which are available from Cussons, The Body Shop and This Works.
Salt?! What am I talking about?
Well bath salts are amazing for getting the body ready to sleep. I love Epsom salts, also Magnesium flakes and Himalyan salts. These are sold from major supermarkets now in 1kg bags for less than £5!
My favourite one is Magnesium flakes – it doesn’t have to be a bath, it can be a foot soak! Soaking in the flakes replaces the body’s levels of magnesium and provides a relaxing home treatment.
4. White Noise
White noise is not for everyone but it works for us – I started using it when my first child was born as I found every small noise would make him startle. But a hum in the background helped cancel out any startling noises – we now use it for our second child and I find he sleeps longer and deeper with it on – and me too! My favourite is grey noise, which is less sharp than white noise and also ocean waves, for those of you who like to dream of lying on the beach.
There are many phone apps that provide white noise sounds for free.
Of course one of the most important elements of good sleep in a comfortable, hypoallergenic, fresh sheets and a comfortable bed with the right thickness. A painful back is one of the worst things, and having a lumpy or overly soft bed only makes it worse.
You spend so much time sleeping that a good quality bed is a must. Some tips that I found watching a video on sleep by Adujustamatic beds:
1. TWO pillows is idea for a straight neck if you sleep on your side. ONE pillow is ideal if you sleep on your back. Any more can cause pains
2. A pillow between the knees is great for reducing pain in the legs (I do this!!!).
3. If you sleep on your side, cuddling a pillow with your upper body increases support for the shoulders.
4. If you read in bed, using one pillow to prop isn’t really enough. You could consider a electric adjustable bed – these mean that you can sit up and read/work comfortably without any back or neck ache.I am honestly considering one of these beds because our current bed is getting “springy” (I can feel the springs) and I suffer from sciatica which can really hurt after a bad nights sleep. Also, I love to snuggle in bed with the kids and watch films – this is a lot easier if the back of the bed is raised, rather than using pillows.
Let me know if you have any more sleeping tips!