10 ways to help you fall (and stay!) asleep (including a free meditation!)
Do you ever struggle to get to sleep? Or to stay asleep?
Recently, I do. Since having my son there have been many sleepless nights as I got up to nurse and soothe him. However, he’s been sleeping through the night for months now, and I still wake up at least once a night. Then recently, I’ve been waking up a lot more (7 times one night!!!) I can no longer blame the baby. Clearly, my sleep hygiene needs a tune up.
The thing with sleep is that it’s tricky. The less easily we sleep, the more we are tired and need sleep, and then we try to force sleep, which causes sleep to elude us, and now we aren’t sleeping, and we’re so so tired, and….
Well you get the idea.
Here are 10 of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years that help me clean up my sleep hygiene and get me back to sleeping deeply and restfully, all night long:
- Go to bed and get up and the same times every day. Yup. Sleeping in on the weekend doesn’t actually help. Regular and consistent sleep is how our bodies thrive. Of course we all will have a late night now and again, but 90% of the time, try to stick to a sleep schedule. This will support your circadian rhythm and your body will get sleepy when it’s time to go to bed.
- Eliminate caffeine, sugar, and alcohol hours before bed. You may need to play around with this to see just how long before bed your body needs you to do this. I can have a coffee in the afternoon, but definitely not in the evening, otherwise I’ll never get to sleep. Alcohol disrupts our bodies ability to sleep, so when you’re struggling, cut it out entirely.
- Do drink some soothing chamomile or other caffeine free herbal tea before bed. You can also experiment with supplements like Tart Cherry or Melatonin to see if this helps you drift off into dream land more easily.
- Turn off your phone and dim the lights. The effects of artificial lights on our sleep are scientifically proven. If you’re struggling with sleep, watching TV before bed, or even scrolling on your phone are absolutely a contributing factor. Trying shutting it all down at least an hour before bedtime, and dim the lights in your home. Might mean having a conversation with a loved one or reading a book instead of being on a device – oh the horror!
- Keep your bedroom tidy and cool. Your bedroom should be for sleeping and sex only. Try not to work from your laptop in bed, or watch TV. Once the space is committed and the intention behind it set, your body will begin to get the signal that when you climb into bed, it’s time for sleep.
- Leave your phone in another room. I know, I know. But it has been proven that our phones give off EMF’s (Electro Magenetic Fields) that disrupt the neurological patterns of our brains. Our phones may be a necessary evil during the day, but at night, plug it in far away so that your brain can get some rest from the stimulation.
- Write your thoughts out on paper. If racing thoughts are keeping you awake at night, trying dumping them out of your brain and onto a page. Whether you journal out your feelings, or plan out your activities for the next day, get those thoughts out of your head so that your mind can rest.
- Gently stretch out your body. You don’t need to do a full yoga practice before bed to rid yourself of some built up tension from the day and encourage your body to relax. Try doing just a few gentle stretches before climbing into bed.
- Lavender essential oil. You can put a drop diluted in a carrier oil to your temples, or spray a lavender air freshener to your pillows. A diffuser can help to distribute it into the air in your room.
- Listen to a Guided Yoga Nidra for Sleep. I recorded a special meditation for you so that you can relax your whole body and ease peacefully into sleep. Enter your email below and I’ll send it to you, right away!
What do you do to get a good night’s rest? I’d love to know, as I need some sleep!
Enter your email here and I’ll send you a Guided Yoga Nidra Meditation to help you fall asleep!