If you’re anything like me, falling asleep when you have a lot on your mind can be a challenge. Even when I’m not particularly stressed, I can lie there for what feels like hours, thinking about blog posts and what I need to do next.
Unfortunately it’s a common problem. But I’ve managed to come up with some simple yet very effective ways that have helped me to switch off and block out those nagging thoughts. Here’s my top 10 ways that help me to get a good night’s sleep.
If I’m feeling energetic a little too close to bedtime, I often have a soothing herbal tea about an hour before I plan to go to bed. Pukka do a great range of night time teas, but anything with chamomile in will help relaxation. Make sure not to drink it too close to bedtime or as soon as you start drifting off you’ll wake up in need of the loo!
I’ll often read before bedtime, especially when I’m not particularly tired. Although try not to pick something too gripping or you’ll be reading all night! Also don’t read off an electronic device with a bright light… I’m talking old fashioned, paper bound books here guys.
When I have a lot on my mind, or I can’t turn off my ‘blogger brain’, I pop in my headphones and listen to an audio book. For me, the Harry Potter series works a treat, or most recently I’ve been loving Enid Blyton’s ‘The Enchanted Wood’ read by Kate Winslet. I often find that comforting childhood favourites work best. You can often find them on YouTube but make sure not to use all your data!
I almost always wear a night mask, even in the pitch black. Apart from blocking out the small glimmers of light from cars and street lamps, it helps to stop my eyes from flickering.
If audio books aren’t your style, try some sleep music. I’ve got a few favourites on YouTube that send me to sleep within about ten minutes. They use something called delta waves which repeat throughout, relaxing the mind and helping to put you in a state of deep sleep. If you search for sleep music you’ll find a ton, some which go on for hours! Also… have any of you used Headspace? I’ve used it a few times but have a friend that swears by this app. Basically, you listen to a man tell you to shut down individual parts of your body, feeling them get heavy and slowly relax. The guy has a soothing voice and although it didn’t send me to sleep, it does help me to relax when I’m feeling fidgety.
Breathe in some soothing scents. Lavender, vanilla, jasmine, or just a smell that comforts, you are proven to relax the mind and help you on your way to a great night’s sleep. Invest in a diffuser or fragrant candle to scent your bedroom – just make sure to blow it out before you close your eyes! Or mix a few drops of essential oil with water and sprinkle over your pillow. I have a gorgeous lavender and vanilla candle that I often light before bedtime.
If I don’t want to listen to anything but my mind is on full speed, I try and shut it down by focusing on something that won’t set it off. Allyn once told me to ‘play out one of your favourite movies in your head’ and I can honestly say that it works. Favourites like Harry Potter, Toy Story and Finding Nemo work so well because I know the story off by heart and can perfectly picture it in my mind like a film reel.
Another way I’ll distract myself is by listing things through the alphabet. For example – animals, Disney characters, Harry Potter references (I know, I’m obsessed). Often I don’t make it past Q and when I do, U and X are so challenging that I fall asleep before I think of one!
Quite often, blogger brain just will not stop throwing ideas and things to do at me. In this case I literally put up a brick wall in my mind. Sounds weird, but stick with me. When I’ve really had enough, I visualise a never ending brick wall, a barrier to my self-nagging. As soon as a thought pops into my mind, I imagine it bouncing off the wall from behind. In my head this means that it can’t enter, so I can’t start to think about it. Okay the more I try and describe it, the stranger it sounds, but it really does work for me!
Lastly, when my brain just won’t shut up, I’ll sometimes stop fighting it and go through my day tomorrow step by step, planning it all out from what I’ll wear to what I’ll eat for dinner. It actually can help me in the morning when I have a pre-planned outfit and know to get the chicken out the freezer! If something is really bugging me and I’m worried that I’ll forget it, it is just worth giving in and writing it down. Yes you’ve moved from your comfy spot, but you can now rest easy knowing that you’ll remember that amazing idea that’s going to go viral.
I hope these work for you! Let me know how you get on and if you have any other sleep tips that you swear by!