8 simple ways to beat insomnia and get your beauty sleep!
Sleep Debt - That weekend lie-in or afternoon nap can do more harm to your sleeping pattern than good. If you have missed out on sleep a.k.a have a 'sleep debt", it's better to catch up on it by getting up and going to bed at the same time instead of disrupting your body clock. Sleep is for bedtime only, so no matter how much you're longing for that catnap, they are recommended only if you are literally too exhausted to function otherwise.
Exercise Vigorously - Gentle exercise like walking or stretching will help ease anxiety, but to really feel the nocturnal benefits?- you need to get that body moving. Exercise that makes you sweat releases endorphins that act as powerful tranquilizers, so join that spinning class or hit the treadmill!
Calm The Mind - Worries and anxiety are major causes of insomnia (and grey hair). Keep a notepad beside your bed -if you're stressing about the electricity bill you need to pay tomorrow, or that client you need to ring back, write it down.? The positive action of listing tasks will ease your mind and help you nod off. Just make sure you check your list in the morning!
Retrain Your Brain - Give yourself 15 minutes to fall back asleep. If you're still wide awake, get up and go into another room. This breaks the association of the inability to sleep with your bedroom. The second you feel drowsy, potter back to bed and try to sleep. If it doesn't work, get up and repeat the process. The first few nights may be hell but then your brain will realize that being in bed means sleepy time.
Hide The Clock - Stop looking at the clock. Stressing about how little time you have left to sleep before you need to get up in the morning is a surefire way to prevent any chance of sleeping. Turn over the phone, throw a blanket over the clock, and instead of counting the minutes count sheep and let your body relax.
Detox ? If insomnia is a nightly occurrence, ditch anything that can alter your sleep patterns. Quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol, and give up on the sugar. Stimulants like caffeine not only cause sleep disruptions, but it also can be responsible for frequent wake-ups throughout the night - so put the coffee down (sorry, Starbucks!).
Ditch The Bed Office - Bed is not the place to balance the accounts, study for exams or even watch TV. Anything that promotes alertness is counteracting the natural urge your body should have to sleep once in bed. So leave the world outside your bedroom door and use your bed for what it was made for!
Turn Out The Lights ? A dark room is key to a good night's slumber. Try to avoid "blue light" for at least two hours before bed. Blue light emits from laptop, tablet and smartphone screens and can trick your mind into thinking it's daytime and that you should be active. If you can't avoid technology completely before bed, try to limit it as much as possible. That means avoiding your nightly Twitter scroll-fest!
Megan Daly (@__MissMeg__)