Sleep has got to be up there with the most popular conversation topics. Most morning catch-ups I have with my close friends or colleagues will include some mention as to how one or another of us slept the night before;
“Oh my God, I slept soo badly last night”
“Uhh, me too, I woke up like 10 times”
“It must have been the new moon”
But then we all have one friend who you know can fall asleep in seconds and sleeps all the way through and I’m not going to lie, I am quite jealous of these people. I feel like it is an actual talent that I wasn’t blessed with.
It’s said that we spend a third of our life sleeping, which is INSANE to think about, and you only have to look at a tired child under the age of 5 to see why it’s so important: cue bad mood, emotional outbursts and irritability. With so many of us struggling to get a good night sleep these days, I’m thinking we should bring that stat down to a quarter of our lives instead?! Maybe it’s our phone addictions and that blue light disrupting our melatonin production, or maybe it’s the fact our lives have become more stressful and demanding. Whatever it is, it’s clear that the A LOT of us struggle with either falling asleep, or staying asleep and this is causing major problems for our overall health, happiness and wellbeing.
I’ve battled this problem for YEARS, and when I stopped drinking at the end of 2017 I found that as I had so much more energy, my sleep was becoming worse and worse. I was averaging 3-4 hours a night MAX and started to feel like a walking zombie. I thought giving up alcohol was supposed to help my sleep, not make it worse! I knew I needed to sort out the issue before it really started to affect my health so I tried everything and anything! Here are the things that REALLY worked for me:
WHITE NOISE APP
I was at an event recently where, as expected, sleep was a big topic of conversation. I was lamenting about my insomnia and my good friend Tim said that I should try downloading this app “Deep Sleep Sounds” and play white noise. Apparently, the white noise helps you to drown out other sounds which helps you to not only fall asleep, but stay asleep! I tried it that night and I slept 5 hours solidly which was a HUGE feat at the time. I would say this is one of the best things I’ve done for my sleep. I paid a couple of pounds to upgrade the app so it plays for 8 hours straight! Definitely worth it! I’d say this is one of my top tips for STAYING asleep!
YOUTUBE – HYPNOSIS
If I’m struggling with the falling asleep part, I really love listening to Hyponosis videos on YouTube. I make sure my phone is on night light mode and on the lowest brightness, then I press play and leave it on the side. The guided hypnosis takes you to a deep state of relaxation and I also use them to tap into my subconscious for different things: i.e self confidence, reducing anxiety or even the weight loss one if I’m feeling like I’ve been a bit unhealthy recently! My favourite to listen to is any by Michael Sealey (https://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelSealey).
LOTIONS AND POTIONS ESPA NEOM
I love a good beauty and skincare regime, as much for my skin as for the way it makes me feel; clean, fresh, relaxed and rejuvenated! It’s like an active meditation for me! In the evening I love to use products that are infused with lavender as I genuinely find this essential oil really helps me to relax and start to feel all sleepy and cosy. I particularly love the ESPA body and bath oils and the Neom Sleepy Face Oil, giving my face a little massage as I apply it. Oh and if I’m feeling like giving my night in an extra ounce of luxury I light my favourite Velvet Rose & Oud candle by Jo Malone. Bliss!
EYEMASKS and EARPLUGS –
The quality of your sleep is defined by many things but no matter how relaxed I am before bed, I can’t drift off without slience and total darkness. Noises in the night are very disturbing and though they won’t wake you up necessarily, it will affect the quality of your sleep overall. Ear plugs are especially essential when you live in a big city! Although they are never going to look chic, sexy or glamourous, your eye masks can – I love Jessica Russel Flints, they are SO comfortable, soft and look great too J https://www.jessicarussellflint.co.uk/
I tried Cryotherapy at KXU London (www.kxulondon.com) recently as I was told it was great for many things (including increased energy, de-puffing and better circulation) but also for sleep! I definitely noticed I slept better after but I wasn’t sure why. I asked one of their experts just how does 3 minutes of dancing in a -80 degree Celsius room do that, and they told me this: “One of the body’s response to the extreme cold felt during a whole body cryotherapy session is the release of feel good endorphins and an increase in production of norepinephrine. The endorphins, once in your bloodstream, decrease sensations of pain and simultaneously acts as a mild sedative. Norepinephrine is a hormone and neurotransmitter that affects your sleep-wake cycle and has dramatic effects on energy, focus, mood, and sleep patterns.” I’m sold!
I spoke about Yin Yoga in my last post so I wont delve too much into this, but Yin Yoga is an AMAZING yoga class in which you relax into a posture for 3-5 minutes, stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system which helps you to seriously relax and slow down your mind and body. Whenever I can get to an evening Yin class, I know I’m going to have a peaceful night’s sleep! Your body will love you for it too!
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