Ever get those nights where you just can’t sleep because you’ve got a multitude of things running around your mind and you can’t help but feel helpless as you lie awake throughout the night? Maybe you’re worrying about the next day’s deadlines at work, an illness or perhaps a family problem – the list goes on. If this sounds familiar, then you may like to read on!
It’s hard to not worry about things in this day and age, as there’s just so much going on with the hustle and bustle of modern everyday life, and if you’re one of these people that seem to have plenty of worries going through your mind on a daily basis, then it’s time to take some time out and learn how to relax and switch off. We’ve put together a list of tips to try and help you relax and achieve a brilliant snooze each and every night.
Although this one may be obvious, some people don’t realise just how much caffeine can influence their sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant, making us feel perky and awake which is great if you’re feeling sluggish during work and need a little pick me up – not so great when you’re in bed trying to grab some shut eye! Look at your diet closely and remove any elements of caffeine consumed late afternoon/evening and see the difference when trying to nod off.
If you’re suffering from anxiety and stress, the consumption of caffeine can be extremely detrimental, causing anxious thoughts to run wild and race around your head, keeping us on edge and unable to sleep. So say no to caffeine and see what you think!
Think a relaxing evening consists of lounging around surfing the net and talking to your mates on your phone or other electronic devices? If so, this may be having an undesirable affect on your sleep. Scientific studies have proved that electronic devices (yes, even small ones) promote wakefulness through the exposure of light. The photoreceptors in our retinas are able to detect light and dark which provide our brain with vital information about the outside world through alignment of our circadian rhythms.
When we’re staring at our devices before we head to sleep, we’re actually stimulating our brains into thinking it’s morning or the daytime which will therefore interfere with achieving a decent sleep. Switch off your devices, or at the very least stop looking at them a couple of hours before heading to bed – you’ll thank us later!
After a hard day’s work there’s nothing better than relaxing, but as noted above, watching television can prevent us from fully relaxing. Why not find a new hobby for the evenings or indulge in something relaxing like yoga or meditation? As well as being great for the body and soul, it’s also great for the mind and will teach you to focus on your breathing techniques which can in time help to ignore the stresses of everyday life and eliminate worries. Another option is to buy some colouring pencils and an adult colouring book to help slow down the mind.
Review Your Diet
When you’re struggling to sleep, take a look at your diet. Obviously by removing anything too caffeine based will be a start, but look into introducing foods which are rich in tryptophan – a sleep enhancing amino-acid that assists in the production of serotonin (AKA the feel good neurotransmitter) and melatonin (AKA, the body clock’s hormone which regulates our bodies).
Walnuts, oats, dried dates, buckwheat and red meat amongst others are great for increasing serotonin levels, whilst foods rich in melatonin include the likes of pineapples, bananas, sweet corn, tomato and barley.
Magnesium is also great for ensuring a good night’s sleep – it helps improve the duration of sleep and promotes efficient sleep. Some typical examples of foods rich in magnesium include milk, low-fat yogurts, spinach, kale and almonds.
Take a bath
It sounds basic, but there’s really nothing like a nice relaxing soak in the tub to unwind and rest those muscles after a long working day. Why not introduce some lavender bubble bath to help you feel sleepy? Breathe in and inhale the steam, making each breath deeper as you go – It’s hard to feel stressed whilst you’re enjoying a lovely bubble bath!