How to Sleep
It's 1am on a Saturday morning and I am awake. I would like to say that it's because I'm out clubbing and having a wonderful time (though blogging in a club is where even I would draw the line!), but it's simply because, I cannot get to bloody sleep! As someone with CFS, ie., someone who is literally always, medically friggin exhausted, this is never a problem, and so I am not best pleased!
I've suffered with sleeping problems before in the past and so I thought now is a great time to write a post about what I found really helped me during those times.
A routine: I am not about routines in my life, in fact, I'm probably a little scared of them. But even I can admit that, like a small child, my body enjoys a bedtime routine. Something that says "Hey, body, mate. It's time to chill out and go to sleep". For me it was the usual things, brushing my teeth, having a drink* etc, but it just felt important.
Speaking of drinks, there are loads of great teas that will help with sleeping. We used one called Snore and Peace (I know, right?!) and it was fab! Try not to have any caffeine too close to bed time, or down a big pint of juice as you'll be up needing to wee.
I have always found that having a nice, tidy bedroom helps a lot. Sadly, mine isn't tidy as often as it should be, but I certainly do sleep better if it is. I always try to make my bed before I get into it - make sure the pillows are all floofed and the buttons or poppers are at the right end (seriously though, how does that even happen?!).
3 words. Brushed. Cotton. Bedding. Holy wow is that stuff soft. We have a lovely wintery set from Primark and it is just the comfiest. I'm counting down to colder weather to be able to use it! Good bedding will certainly help a good nights sleep!
This summer, (well, "summer"), we invested in a fan. I can't sleep if I'm too hot, but there's no way I could sleep without the duvet - monsters would get me! So we got an oscillating, stand up fan from Home Bargains for £20! The best feature for sure is the timer, so we could fall asleep with it on and know it was going to turn itself off. Magic!
Check out some bedtime Yoga on Pinterest. Even if you don't do it every night, and just save it for the nights when sleep evades you, it's a good thing to have in your toolbox.
Sleep sprays. I have sworn by these for years! The first one I ever got was from Avon and it lasted forever! However, I recently found a Febreeze equivalent which is more of an air freshener and that's pretty great too! There is even a version without lavender as apparently some people don't love the smell (I do!). It was so cheap and the smell is wonderful.
One reason I struggle to sleep sometimes, is my chatty brain. It will either start rattling off lists of things I need to do, or try to get me to contemplate the universe and my own being, resulting in a panic attack. The best thing I've found to combat this, is a good podcast. I listen to loads but have a specific one for bedtime as I know they never delve into anything that might make me anxious (where as Dear Hank & John is reserved for daylight hours only!), and I am usually asleep before the half hour timer has finished (tonight however, it took 3 different timers before I gave up and decided to come and write instead!). It might not work for everybody but it's worth a try. Maybe an audiobook that you know well could be a good idea too?
They say not to use screens before bed, but if you're anything like me, you don't listen. The least you can do, however, is use the cool "night time" lighting mode which is suppose to help your brain chill. Another amazing feature is "Do not disturb". I am admin on a million pages and when your Twitter is as #relatable as mine, it's no wonder my phone is going off all the time. Switch it and then try not to check it - your notifications will be there in the morning!
So there are my top tips. Sadly, none of them seem to be working for me tonight/this morning, but writing this has made me feel a little more sleepy so fingers crossed!
If you've got any fail-safe ideas, let us know in the comments!