So I was speaking to Hayley at the office yesterday about sleep....yes I know, literally the most boring conversation right but It was actually quite eye opening to me.
I have struggled with sleep for many many years now. It takes me hours to get to sleep at night. it's so frustrating especially when you can count the hours until you have to wake up on 1 hand.
What's even more frustrating is laying next to my husband who can literally get in to bed, finish a conversation and within 2 seconds I can hear him snoring! (that literally happened last night)
Don't get me wrong. I am happy for him that he has such a good relationship with sleep. I wouldn't wish sleep deprivation on anyone but every now and then when I watch him practically drifting off to sleep before his head has even managed to sink in to the pillow, that little devil voice inside wants to shake him awake.
Anyway it turns out I am not alone with this, OK so I knew I was not the only one that struggled with sleep but I didn't realise how common it is now.
67% Of people in the UK have issues with their sleep
23% manage to get no more than 5 hours sleep per night!
And women are more likely to experience sleep issues than men.
I was shocked by this!
Sleep is important not just for brain power but also for mental health and even physical health so it's something I really want to get better at.
Anyway we were discussing some things we had heard, read about or even tried ourselves that are supposed to help with sleep and I figured since so many of us experience this or know someone that struggles with sleep I would share what I had found.
Having a warm bath up to 90 minutes before bed.
a warm bath can help relax your body, your muscles and is some great quiet time for your mind. relaxing your body and mind is key when it comes to sleep.
If you don't like baths or you don't have a bath in your house try soaking your feet in warm water, It can have the same relaxing effect on your body.
Adding supplements to your bath
Adding things like magnesium flakes to your bath is said to have great effects on your sleep by increasing your melatonin which is a sleep inducing hormone.
According to some studies getting sunlight in the day can help to keep our circadian rhythm healthy this effects the brains internal clock so getting sunlight in the day helps your body acknowledge daytime and night time and will help you to become sleepier in the evening.
Avoiding Blue Light
Blue light comes from electrical devices such as mobile phones, laptops, ipads etc. it's not something you can see but blue light tricks your brain in to thinking it's daytime and preventing you from getting to sleep. It's recommended you put you put your phone and laptops down at least 2 hours before you go to bed to help your mind get back in to a night time state and put your phone face down your bedside table.
There are also apps you can download that block blue light from your phone and laptop. I am going to download one as soon as I finish writing this.
Romaine Lettuce Tea
OK so this one I thought must be a joke when I first heard it. A Tea made from putting romaine lettuce in a cup and pouring boiling water over it but after doing a little research It seems this is actually could be a natural sleep remedy as well as being a really good natural anti inflammatory.
Although no studies have been carried out on humans yet it has been tested on mice and was shown to have very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and induced sleep . It is thought that when mixed soaked in hot water Romaine lettuce releases lactucin and lactucarium which help induce sleep.
As I said there haven't been any human studies yet this has been seen in small animals but the fact that this could be a completely natural remedy and has anti-inflammatory properties makes it top of my list to try this weekend.
This is one I have tried and it definitely helped me get to sleep in the past unless I am having an extremely bad night but perhaps mixing this with one or two of the other options above would really help me drift off quicker.
A simple youtube search for guided meditation for sleep will bring up hundreds of options for you to select from. Basically it's someone with a very calming voice talking you through some things to focus on, imagine and do that will have you drifting off to sleepy land in no time.
They will tell you when to inhale and when to exhale, what to picture in your mind etc. It helps shut your mind off to everything else so it can relax and drift off to sleep.
I think all in all it's good to know us sleepless beauties aren't alone with this and there is lots of advice online.
So before you kick your smugly sleeping partner out of bed, maybe give some of these a try.
Let me know if you have a sleep method that has helped you at all. I am going to be trying these 4 consistently over the weekend and I will let you know how I get on.
I hope you have a wonderful sleep filled weekend.