Getting enough sleep is both super important and can be super difficult when your mental health is not at it’s best. It can turn into a vicious cycle of struggling to get to sleep, waking up in the night, being plagued by worries or nightmares, waking early, and then feeling exhausted all throughout the next day, and then still not being able to get to sleep again.
My lovely Mum shared a routine that she was recommended and worked for her, so I thought I’d share it with you in the hope that it might just help you drift off to dreamland.
- Stop using technology an hour before bed and try to keep most of it out of your bedroom. If you need your phone or something else with you then make sure the screen light is off. Try to do this at the same time every night.
- Get yourself physically ready for bed – brush your teeth, wash with a calming, scented soap like lavender or camomile, and slip on your pj’s
- Switch off bright overhead lights and turn on soft warm lighting from lamps, fairy lights and/or candles (relaxing scented candles are even better)
- Settle down somewhere cosy that is ideally not your bedroom like the living room. If you can’t use it or don’t have one then if you can fit a comfy chair in your bedroom that would be good. If you really have no space then try sitting at the foot of your bed rather than where you will eventually sleep. This is because it helps your mind and body recognise that when you lie down in bed that it is sleepytime.
- Do something relaxing like reading, crafting, listening to a podcast, relaxing music or doing a guided meditation, until you feel sleepy.
- If after 30mins you are not asleep, get up and do something relaxing again until you start to feel sleepy then try again. Make sure you are doing something restful and try not to get tempted to do something more active or switch on your laptop as this will just make you more awake. Keep doing this until eventually you go to sleep.
Although these recommendations are fairly common so you may have heard them before, the important thing is to keep repeating the routine until it works. This helps to stop the worry cycle of not sleeping and then worrying about not sleeping, give your mind and body the cues it needs to go to sleep, and the routine keeps reinforcing these signals so the more you do it, the better it works. See the post on Self Help Books – I want to sleep for more tips and info about sleeping and getting to sleep if you are still struggling.
Hope that helps and you can snuggle up peacefully