Have you been struggling to fall asleep over the past few weeks? Here are 13 tips to take you to the land of dreams
With our world being turned upside down, it's no surprise many of us are struggling when it comes to sleep – but we have found someone to help.
Lucy Wolfe is a sleep consultant and author of The Baby Sleep Solution, specialising in infant and child sleep problems. She is also the creator of Sleep Through by Lucy Wolfe; natural, essential oil-filled products to help promote rest and relaxation for a better night's sleep. Here, she shares 13 tips for ensuring you get the best sleep possible, and rise and actually shine.
1. Have a regular wake time every day. Start your day by exposing yourself to bright and natural light - somewhere between 6 am to 7.30am can help to regulate the body clock.
2. Have a consistent bedtime, ending your day with dimmed lighting to help increase your melatonin production. Adults natural bedtime hovers around 10pm - 11pm and for children under 10, it's 7pm -8pm.
3. Commit to your sleep need. Adults need 7-9 hours, teens need 8-10 hours and children need 10.5-12 hours.
4. Get outside activity and fresh air for at least 30 minutes to an hour every day.
5. Have a balanced diet, avoiding large meals close to sleep time and where possible, high sugar, processed food. Watch out for hidden sugar too.
6. Reduce your over-reliance on caffeine. Consider having your last caffeine hit by 2p and limit your caffeine intake by 400 milligrams per day. Caffeine stays in the system for up to 8 hours, wreaking havoc on your sleep ability. Remember even chocolate and fizzy drinks can contain caffeine.
7. Don’t be fooled by alcohol, it can help you get to sleep easily but then it converts to a stimulant, impairing the quality and duration of your sleep.
8. Stay hydrated!
9. Avoid electronics an hour (or more) before bedtime. Buy a regular alarm clock to help keep phones and other gadgets out of the bedroom. The LED light can both stimulate the waking part of your brain making it hard to go to sleep and/or decrease the quality of the sleep you do get.
10. Create a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom - cool, comfortable and dark. Limit distractions and place a high emphasis on creating calm.
11. Develop a relaxing pre-sleep ritual before you go to sleep.
12. Change into nightwear. This helps to signal the end of the day. Relax your body and mind. Try gentle stretching and breathing exercises, visualisations, reading, listening to music, crosswords or Sudoku.
13. Finally, leave your worries outside the bedroom.
Sleep Through by Lucy Wolfe Body and Bed Sleep Spray and The Relaxing Rub are €16.99 each or €30 for both.
Photography by @katherine_val.
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