How To Get Rid Of Insomnia
Can't stop flipping at night? Are you trying to put the world to right, when you should be getting forty winks?
As part of World Sleep Day on the 18th March, I thought I'd share some tips that have got me back to sleeping like a baby, after having insomnia for 18 years. I'm living proof that someone can get a good nights sleep, wake up functional without sleeping past my alarm. To be healthy and ready for the day, your body requires rest and time to repair, on average Brits are only getting five-six hours in bed! Sleep is the key to beauty, optimum health, and a long life. Without sleep our immune systems is affected, and more susceptible to getting ill.
The first thing to rule out is technology before going to bed. Spending time looking at your phone, tablet or computer affects quality of sleep, whilst stimulating the brain. My insomnia was caused by stress, poor diet, being an owl and working late at night, and not being able to sleep during the light mornings. My trick of getting to sleep was falling asleep with the tv on in bed, till I realised it was probably one of the worst things for my sleep. I found the simple switch up that would trick my brain into becoming relaxed and tired was aromatherapy oils. The quality of my sleep dramatically changed in a short period of time, I previously stirred very easily but now can stay asleep all throughout the night. I ditched my sleeping tablets after learning how much they really didn't agree with me. I'll be sharing my insomnia story and best ways to get to sleep at night.
How To Get Great Sleep
If you're struggling to chill out in the evenings, these tips will help anyone on how to get great sleep.
Never work in your bedroom
I was taught a nifty trick from a graphic designer that revolutionised not only my sleep quality, but stress levels whilst working in my studio. Have two separate desks, one for creative work, one for finances. It gives you the mental separation, and I applied this mentality to sleep. By taking out all elements of distraction and un-bedroom like objects the room becomes purposeful, tidy and organised. A bedroom is for resting, don't make it your living space. This means when you can't sleep, get up, walk out the room until you're tired, then go back in when you're ready to sleep - promise it works!
Keep your bedroom cool
I know being all snug and cosy is the best feeling in the world, but our bodies sleep better when we're slightly cooler. The sleepy hormone melatonin is optimised between 16º-18ºC. So going to bed without 10 layers on is the key to a better nights sleep.
Block out light
This should be obvious, light is a distraction and activates our brain. Whether this is a phone light, light through the curtains, or even a small LED light on a plug can disturb our quality of sleep. If you have a partner that likes some light, try a comfortable eye protector. My tip of the day is to buy a silk eye mask- they're fantastic for preventing eye wrinkles!
Living in a city can be a pain for having surrounding noises, from the elephant stomping around in the flat upstairs, to ongoing traffic outside. Luckily where I live isn't that noisy but I know a lot of people who are affected with snoring, to which the answer is always ear plugs. The goal is to find plugs that block out certain pitches - you can't miss your morning alarm to have a snooze in!
Get into a routine
I can hands down say this was the biggest contributor to the recovery of my insomnia. Since meeting my boyfriend, and sleeping whilst he sleeps, it forced me to not go to bed at 5am, and be a sensible human being who actually does tasks in the morning. It was a strict regime, but reset my body clock. If you can get into a habit of going to bed roughly the same time every night you'll naturally want to sleep in those hours. Aim between 8-10 hours before you're meant to get up.
Relax with a hot baths
Aim to run it an hour or two before bedtime with a a drop of your favourite relaxing aromatherapy oil. Lavender oil is sleep inducing, as well as Frankincense. A couple of drops while it's steaming will relax your nervous system and slow down your breathing in perfect preparation for bed time.
Be grateful and mindful
There's two things that changed my thoughts on how I see myself and my problems. It's saying a little thank you to your body in the morning, and evening. Stress is a downward spiral, and if you're worried it'll continue to weave into your mind. So by being grateful about your day, and staying mindful of all the wonderful things around you, will guarantee good quality sleep.
Grounding is a great technique for when you're feeling up in the air, and overthinking before bed. We've all tried to put the world to right at 3am, so when this happens remind yourself of your surroundings.
The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is proven to improve panic, stress and quality of sleep. I apply this to all areas of life, and its especially great with anxiety and depression by remembering to appreciate what you have,
It works by acknowledging five things you see around you. Acknowledge four things you can touch around you. Acknowledge three things you hear. Acknowledge two things you can smell. Acknowledge one thing you can taste.
Relax through practising guided sleep meditation and take any stressful thoughts away. Think presently as thoughts of the past or potential future can provoke further trails of thought.
Switch off technology
Staying in the loop with social media and work, can activate your mind, so by switching devices onto silent a few hours before resting will slow your brain down, into a state of complete relaxation.
Investing in a good pillow
Go to a good quality bed emporium and find a pillow that suits your needs. Popping a few drops of aromatherapy oil onto your pillow or onto a cotton pad next to or under your pillow can air restful slumber.
Replace your mattress
A mattress should be replaced every eight to ten years to get the most out of its use. Whilst also replacing the sheets frequently to keep them soft, fragrant and clean.
Talk to a professional
If you're ever burdened by insomnia after trying all these tips always seek medical advice, and talk to someone as through vocalisation, you can find the underlying reason for your insomnia.
Whilst sleeping tablets can work for some people, finding natural solutions and integrating lifestyle changes can be the core underlying issue to not being able to sleep at night. Having a partner to cuddle up to at night, might make you feel safe and secure so by being in a good state of mind before your rest is crucial. I constantly tell people my miraculous story of how I snapped out my reckless sleep patterns and how it drastically changed my life for the better. I don't get ill half as often, the weight gain from my insomnia completely halted and a positive attitude overwhelmed me as every morning seemed like a fresh new start. When you abandon your problems through wishful thinking you can manage stress in a very calm manner.