When I was younger my parents never had that fight with me about bedtime. Literally at 8pm I would get into bed, read for a while and fall asleep. I still love my sleep, that hasn’t changed, but since starting university it has become a struggle to fall asleep at night. Which means even more of a struggle trying to wake up and get through a full day of doing things with no energy.
After months of trialling everything, from ocean sounds to strange meditations, I think I have finally found what has actually worked to improve my quality of sleep. If you have been battling eye bags too, hopefully one of these solutions may save you.
If like me, you’re the type of person that can never fully seem to switch off, listening to a podcast before bed may actually be exactly what you need. It allows you to still have that background noise and gives you something to focus on, without the bright lights and you can keep your eyes closed. I wouldn’t, however, recommend listening to anything too stimulating. My personal favourite night time podcast is called ‘Nothing much happens’. Each episode is a short calming story, read through twice. Usually I’m asleep by the end of it. If not, it recommends trying to remember the details of the story to help you fall asleep. If you are wondering where to start my favourite episode is called A ‘Letter in an Envelope’.
Spotify has a sleep category on their Podcasts, so definitely scroll through to find one that suits you best.
Even if you don’t have a ton of time before bed to unwind or do a luxurious night time skincare routine, you can still create a routine that you commit to every day. It can be as simple as putting your phone down at 11pm, reading for 15 minutes, then turning the lights off. It is often advised to try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times everyday. Even if your lifestyle does not align with this method every day, whenever you can go to bed at a specific time and set an alarm to wake up definitely try to. Eventually your body clock will naturally adapt to sleeping and waking at these times.
3. A Silk Pillowcase
The comfort of your bedding can not be underestimated. I swear by my Slip Silk pillowcase but amazon has a ton of affordable alternatives too. Not only do I feel like the popular girl in a 00s movie as I fall asleep, I wake up with less of a bedhead too. Silk pillowcases are thought to prevent wrinkles and improve skin and hair hydration, so if you’re really serious about your beauty sleep it may be worth trying.
All kinds of thing contribute to your quality of sleep that you may not have realised. The temperature in your room, for example, is optimal for sleeping when it’s on the cooler side. I literally hate feeling cold, so I would sleep with a sherpa throw every night until I realised that was making it even harder for me to fall asleep. Similarly, some people can’t sleep with even the tiniest amount of light, whereas others don’t seem to mind. Creating the right atmosphere in your room for sleeping is a personal thing, so trial a few different things until you see what’s right for you.
For all my extra girls, light a candle while you’re getting ready for bed (as long as you trust yourself to remember to put it out), or use a diffuser with essential oils. Lavender is said to be one of the best scents for better sleep. I brought the ThisWorks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray for a friend for her birthday and she always uses it as a part of her night routine. Whether scientifically speaking a pillow spray can help you fall asleep, I am not convinced. However, it will help you relax and destress before bed, which is often the root of most sleep problems.
5. Empty your mind
This last one is not for everyone but if you’re the type of person to be up all night thinking about every single aspect of your life, it may be the solution. A stream of consciousness is where you write down everything you’re thinking without editing it or trying to punctuate it or make it make sense. The idea is you keep a notepad or journal beside your bed and before you try to go to sleep you just vent your thoughts. Maybe it seems a bit much effort to do every night but even if you just try it out on a day when you’re super overwhelmed, you might find it helps to clear your head.
If you try implementing any of these into your routine let me know if you notice any improvement in the quality of your sleep!