In this crazy modern world of screens, busyness, commitments and stress, the importance of sleep can be overlooked.
Until it's too late of course, and we wind up in a horrible cycle of restlessness where we can’t sleep, have trouble sleeping or can’t get back to sleep (early waking).
Sleep is a fundamental part of health and many of us function on way too little of it.
Here are some of my top tips to help ease the burden of anxiety that can arise about not being able to sleep…
Go to bed at the same time every night, wake up at the same time every morning. Routine and structure are key to balancing the your sleep hormones.
Exercise in the morning. Balances cortisol and allows for sunlight (hopefully you are exercising outside) to hit your retina, balancing hormones again
Turn of ALL electronic devices at least 1-2 hours before bed, dim the lights, light a candle, prepare your mind and eyes for the darkness of sleep, over stimulation of screens and electronics can confuse your brain and overstimulate your mind.
Have an epsom salt bath with calming aromas such as lemon balm, lavender or sandalwood - seen our bath soaks? here https://www.sarahfehlberg.com.au/shop
Read, Meditate, Practice deep breathing,Have herbal tea such as chamomile to calm to nervous system - do something that calms you.
Don’t over indulge at dinner – sometimes our digestion works overtime when we do this making it hard to sleep
Stop all caffeine prior to 3pm – since caffeine has a half life of 6 hours, some people might find they can’t sleep simply because they have had too many stimulants late at night or in the afternoon – remember caffeine is found in chocolate and black, green and white teas, not just coffee!
Don’t be too hard on yourself – its ok to go to bed rather than tick off that last thing ‘to do’.
Turn your phone on airplane mode – especially for those who use the phone as an alarm to wake up, you don’t want that by your head, plus you don’t want to be drifting off and be disturbed by notifications or texts, that stuff can wait till later the next day!
Last but not least, some lavender essential oil (just a drop or two) on your pillow!
Here are some sleep Apps – some of which I use regularly.
Lull yourself to sleep with a custom blend of relaxing music and natural sounds. Relax Melodies gives you a huge selection of high quality, mix-and-match ambient soundscapes, so you can choose your favourite to drift off to – whether it’s gentle ocean waves with soft piano, or calming wind with birds and a flute melody. It also incorporates binaural beats, and has an alarm and timer functionality to help you customise your sleep routine to best suit you.
This popular app provides guided meditations designed to help you relax, unwind and get the rest you need at night. Andrew is a Scottish clinical hypnotherapist with over 20 years’ experience helping people cope with stress, anxiety, fears and insomnia. Listen to his soothing voice as he takes you through a range of visualisations and relaxation techniques, and let it send you into a deep, restorative sleep.
If the sound of rain soothes you, this app gives you a wonderfully comforting way to fall asleep. Choose from 20 different rainfall patterns, from a gentle patter against the window, to a steady rain shower over a forest, to a moody thunder storm. This is also a great app to use during the day, creating a calming, ambient atmosphere to help you relax at work, or to escape the bustling noise of city streets.
4. Simply Being
Take 10 minutes before bed to unwind, release the worries of the day, and get in touch with your breath and body. This app takes you through simple guided meditation exercises to help you relax, so you can go to sleep without those racing thoughts.
Choose your session length and decide if you want relaxing music, soothing natural sounds, or just a calming voice. Perfect for meditation beginners, this simple app makes it easy to create your own mindfulness practice, with an easy to use interface and plenty of customisable options.
Free – iOS
If you have trouble sleeping because you often feel stressed or anxious, simple breathing exercises can make a big difference in getting your mind and body relaxed. By slowing down your heart rate with a few deep breaths, you can reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress, like shortness of breath and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
This fantastic app by ReachOut uses simple visuals to guide you through some slow, deep breaths. It also lets you measure your heart rate, so you can check your baseline and see how you’re going from day to day.
Stretch out and calm your breathing before bed with yoga moves specifically chosen to help you get to sleep. This app gives you simple graphics and instructions to explain how to do each pose, with options to make it easier for beginners. Create your own yoga routine designed to help you relax and see if it helps you fall into a deeper, more restful slumber,
7. Sleep Cycle
This smart alarm clock app has long been a popular choice for waking you up gently, and for tracking your sleep patterns. Sleep Cycle analyses your slumber based on your movements throughout the night. When you’re ready to wake up, the alarm function vibrates, timed with your sleep cycle to wake you in your lightest sleep phase. It’s a more natural way to be roused from sleep, so you open your eyes feeling more refreshed. Then, you can check the graphs and data from your night’s rest, and use the information to help make changes to your routine.
Feeling like you’ve tried it all and nothing seems to change? Maybe a more in depth look may be needed.
Feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat and perhaps book in a consult for some further in depth investigation and look at your health overall.