Sleep. We all do it. Some of us better than others, but hey, the reality is that sleep is crucial for your body, your mind, and your overall health. There are many sleep guides out there that make suggestions that I frankly find daff. With our busy lives and schedules “ain’t nobody got time for that” really pops into mind.
How can you switch off your phone 2 hours before you go to sleep if you run a business? Is it really possible to have the optimum sleep temperature if you share a bedroom and bed and your other half is always hot when you’re cold and vice versa?
In this 2 part post, I have compiled the ultimate realistic sleep guide to help you go from tired to rested in no time. Your bed and a good night’s sleep is the goal to help you #wakeupready! But sometimes you have to start before you even get to bed.
Start Outside the Bedroom
What we do outside the bedroom plays a big effect on how we sleep. There are many things we are told to do that I find quite idiotic. But there are things that this incredulous person aka me has found to work. From the obvious to the quirky you can start by doing a few of these, if not all.
This may seem obvious to many but a lot of us aren’t members of a gym and certainly don’t work out daily. As someone who doesn’t do either of those things I have really found that the days when I am too busy working and sadly, sedentary, I just can’t seem to get to sleep.
The fix? Get moving! I work from home, as you know, and though I wish I could cut my days short a lot of times I can’t. Sometimes getting out to do some walking or anything that can be considered a good amount of exercise just isn’t in the cards.
My solution is to do what I can but make sure I move. I clean the house daily, so I have found that taking breaks from work to do just that can sometimes be enough to constitute exercise. I’m talking the whole 9 yards, washing, folding, scrubbing, sweeping, mopping. You name it. I try to cram as much as I can into the designated 20 or 30-minute breaks. This helps me raise my heart beat and allows the blood to flow.
If I can I go for a brisk walk, do some quick bits in the garden, or even play with the dog. Whatever you can manage to do that gets you pumped up a bit can do wonders when it comes to bedtime.
Ingest The Right Things
You need to really listen to your body and heed what it tells you. I’ve discovered that the older I get the more my body reacts differently to certain foods.
Ditch the Spice
For example, I like spicy food as much as the next person but I know that if I have a curry on a night out I won’t be able to sleep due to the heartburn. It sounds silly but I can’t tell you how many times I tended to absentmindedly go out for that drink or whatever without really listening to my body’s reactions. It almost always affected my sleep and once I listened things started to change.
Control the Caffeine
If your body is sensitive to caffeine stay away from it! My other half won’t have a cuppa or coffee after about 3 pm-ish because he knows that even though he won’t be in bed early the effects will still linger at 11 pm.
I am not that sensitive to it, for example, so I can have a cuppa at 4 pm and not have adverse effects. It can be hard to give up a cup of tea so why not switch to decaf for your afternoon cuppa?
Switch to Natural
According to the NHS, 1 in 3 people is afflicted with sleep issues. I’m certainly one of them, and so is the other half. Even though our sleep disturbances are very different we have discovered the 1 thing that helps us both – Kalms.
Have you heard of Kalms? Kalms Night and Kalms Night One-A-Night are traditional herbal medicinal products used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances, exclusively based on long-standing use as a traditional herbal remedy – Contains Valerian Root.
I’ve been taking Kalms as needed since I first discovered them 7 years ago. Hand on heart, it’s the only natural sleep aid that actually helps me get to sleep – which is my biggest problem. And also allows me to wake up refreshed and #wakeupready to face the day! It helps me not be groggy the next day whilst aiding in my sleep. I, honestly, am a big fan of Kalms and it’s a staple in my home. They are so simple to take too! You can opt for Kalms Night and take 4 tablets 30-60 minutes before bed or just have one Kalms One-A-Night an hour before bedtime.
Don’t Work in Bed …
Almost everything I’ve seen online tells you to not work in your bedroom and let alone in your bed. Whilst this sounds like well, sound advice, it’s not always feasible.
I work in bed. Sorry, but it’s true. I rarely get on my laptop in bed but my mobile is there to greet me when I wake up. As a blogger, you have to be quite present in your inbox because if you don’t accept the work it will often go to someone else. Time is of the essence in this industry, so yes, I work in bed.
What I don’t do though, is work in bed at night. In the morning, yes. By all means. I will check my emails, and do other admin jobs on my mobile. It’s part of my routine and it works for me.
I do refrain from using my mobile for work in the evenings, in bed. At night it’s all about the wind-down and creating that buffer zone between work and sleep is crucial. It doesn’t have to be 2 hours, it can be less or more depending on your needs.
Have a Routine
My sleep routine is quite contradictory to a lot of the tips you read out there. But that’s just the thing, it’s mine. It is customised to my needs and it works the way I need it to.
For example, I don’t stop using my phone in bed at all. In fact, it’s usually the last thing I see before I go to sleep but I’ll get into that in a bit.
If you’re married or have a partner your routine has to be realistic. Your partners routine may differ so you have to make sure that find the balance. My other half likes cuddles and the like before he drifts off. I prefer some solitude. Here’s a look at my realistic bedtime routine.
- Watch telly together
- Shower/Bathe and put on some lovely pyjamas
- Brush teeth/ moisturise face
- Lights off
- Cuddles and the like
- Set my alarm for the next day (if needed)
- Switch off my mobile data/WiFi
- Get on my Kindle app and read
As you can see my routine is pretty simple, but many guides will tell you not to have a TV in the bedroom, and not to use your mobile at all before bed. I don’t subscribe to that and neither should you!
Sleep is very personal and if you want to find your perfect sleep routine you need to listen to your body and do what works for you! In part 2 I will share with you what I found to work to make your bedroom and bed the perfect sanctuary.