Five tips for good sleep

by | Self-care

Better sleep was the number one and biggest improvement I noticed in and for myself when I started practicing mindfulness regularly. Previous to this, if I was struggling with sleep I could go a week or more without much sleep at all. Night after night I would lie awake with thoughts rushing around my mind constantly causing me to feel stress and anxiety about things that were months away or sometimes just completely made up things in my head. 

I even remember one night in particular when I was in my first journalism job not being able to sleep so I got up and wrote a review of a film I had seen for work because ‘sure I’m awake anyway’.

Whereas now, when I struggle with sleep it is usually around the full moon or when the seasons are changing and the temperature is fluctuating and I when I wake up I have simple and effective tools to help me get back to sleep. But, as it is a problem that hasn’t fully disappeared, here are a few things I do every day to set me up for a good night’s sleep.  

  1. A regular bedtime routine. I go to bed as close to the same time every night as I can and I shut off technology as much as I can as early as possible but at least 30 minutes before I am going to go to sleep.
  2. Journaling. Every evening part of my bedtime routine is to free write all of my thoughts into my journal. it rarely makes sense and it is often illegible but that doesn’t matter. I do it so I get all of the noise, all of the thoughts out of my head and onto the paper so my mind is quieter. 
  3. A regular meditation practice. I meditate for 30 minutes every morning but an evening meditation might be better for you and you might only be able to do it for 10 minutes and that is perfectly fine, but allowing myself a chance everyday to practice focusing on my breath and how my body physically feels has meant that when I wake up in the middle of the night and I can hear my mind running along with whatever catastrophe it has made up, I feel more able to stop these unhelpful thoughts and simply focus on my breathing which helps me to fall asleep again.  
  4. A cold room. Unless it is freezing cold outside, I have my bedroom window open. The fresh air helps me sleep better and the cold temperature in the room means that I won’t overheat when I am asleep.
  5. No caffeine after 2pm. I drink decaf tea after 2 o’clock and no coffee and I only drink one coffee a day.

Comment some of the things you do to help you get a good night’s sleep! 


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