Nicola Raimbert – Osteopath

Feeling a little lethargic? Grumpy? Out of sorts? 

Need more shut eye but having trouble switching off? 

I’m not surprised. 

Life is hectic. Non stop. It’s hard to switch off these days when there are more avenues of communication available than ever before and a never ending stream of new information to be absorbed. 

Last post we chatted about what you can do during the day to improve the quality and duration of your sleep at night. 

This week, we want to chat about how to wind down at the end of the day. 

1. Provide yourself with a quality sleep environment. Splurge on that comfy bed and pillows. Keep the room temperature cool, but make sure you’ve got some warm blankets to snuggle under. Use black out curtains and, if needed, an eye mask and ear plugs too.

2. Set a regular daily sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This helps to set your bodies internal clock and circadian rhythms. Before long, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep, and wake up feeling fresh.

3. Create a bed time routine to psychologically prepare your body for sleep. Take a bath, read, perform a few gentle stretches, focus on some breathing exercises or drink camomile tea which has a calming effect. Whatever it is that helps you to unwind and switch off. 

4. Avoid stimulating activities such as T.V., loud music, work and emotionally stressful conversations.  

5. Avoid bright overhead lighting. Use floor lamps with yellow globes instead.  

6. Take a bath. Having a bath 1-2 hours before bed raises your body temperature. As your body temperature drops back down, you will start to feel sleepy.

7. Clear your head. Write down stressful thoughts or tomorrows to do lists so they don’t run on repeat while you’re trying to fall asleep. 

8. This is the big one. Avoid screen time for a minimum of 1 hour before bed. 3-4 hours is even better. Screen time increases alertness, suppresses melatonin production (the sleep hormone), and can even shift your biological clock.

If you can’t sleep after 15-20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing such as reading or listening to music. No tv, no phone, no eating. Only return to bed, when you feel sleepy..