Sleep is my favourite thing
It’s no secret that I love my bed. The feeling of climbing under the duvet and drifting off to sleep is one of my favourite things to do, therefore it’s something I do a lot. If I don’t reply to your message after 9pm, chances are I’m tucked up in bed. I’ve always loved my bed, but I used to be much more of a night owl and slept my afternoons away instead of having an early night, but the tables have certainly turned over the past few years.
You see, sleep is my solace. I’m much better placed to face a stressful day (or week, or month, or year) if I’ve had a decent kip, and am pretty much unbearable to be around if I’ve had anything less than 7-8 hours. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I’m a perpetually stressed person, as per my last blog post. In some ways, stress fuels me, when I’m stressed I end up on autopilot and just fire through everything that has to be done – albeit with a few minor freakouts along the way.
No matter what’s going on, I will not sacrifice sleep. I’m not the kind of person who can pull an all-nighter, as I desperately need sleep to function. I honestly believe that sleep is the key to my ability to just keep going, no matter what life throws in my way, and I’m a passionate believer in the power of a good night’s rest.
Get a good routine going
I enjoy routine, to the point that I do kind of crave it when it’s missing. My bedtime routine is minimal, but it serves as a signpost to my body that sleep is coming and it’s time to start winding down. I like to have my laptop or computer off at least an hour before I’m heading to bed – ideally two – and I utilise the twilight settings on my phone to change the colour temperature of my screen and reduce blue light in the evenings. In an ideal world, I’d be able to put my phone away completely, but that’s rarely the case.
In the hour running up to the time I want to be asleep for, I’ll wash my face and apply my skincare before getting into bed and picking up a book or watching around 40 minutes of TV. Reading a book definitely helps me fall asleep, but sometimes I’m way too tired to concentrate on a book so find sticking an episode of my current series on the easiest way to wind down in bed. Current favourites include Dynasty, Brooklyn 99 and a rewatch of 30 Rock.
Once I’m ready to sleep, I’ll usually stick a podcast, like Thinking Sideways, on for 30 minutes using the sleep timer function. I’ve grown into the habit of listening to podcasts before I sleep as they give me something to concentrate on that doesn’t require too much effort, meaning my mind isn’t running away with whatever anxieties I may have that night. 99% of the time I’m asleep within the 30 minutes, usually in about 15. Although, listening to true crime podcasts before sleep may produce some slightly weird dreams – you’ve been warned.
Environment is key
Your bedroom setup is pretty important in getting a good night’s sleep. My bed is my happy place, with a carefully curated selection of duvets, blankets and cushions that make for a super cosy nest to spend the evening in. Until a couple of years ago, I’d had the same bed all my life, and didn’t think anything of it. Then, I bought a new one, and everything changed. Having the right mattress and pillows are crucial, and comfort is key.
This year, Tempur are supporting the Mental Health Foundation in their quest to improve the lives of people experiencing mental illness. For every mattress sold through the Tempur website or in-store throughout Mental Health Awareness month in May, they’ll be donating £10 to the foundation.
Outside of your bed, the bedroom itself can play a big part in your sleep schedule. I sleep better when my room is nice and tidy (which is a rare sight these days), and having the room slightly cooler with my window vents cracked open for a bit of air helps keep my temperature regulated through the night. I have some brilliant blackout curtains which are brilliant for these summer nights when it stays light well past my bedtime, and I always keep an eye mask handy if I need it.
Going caffeine free
I have a stupidly low tolerance for caffeine these days, to the point that I can’t even drink a coffee, but I still love a good cup of tea. In the past, I always thought that I had to switch to fruit teas before bedtime to be able to avoid caffeine, then I discovered that decaf teabags are a thing. Now, I can get all the comfort of a good ol’ brew and still be able to sleep at night.
Depending on my schedule for the day, I’ll usually switch to decaf mid-afternoon or early evening and make sure I’m drinking plenty of water. It’s made a huge difference to how quickly I fall asleep, and means I actually feel tired come the evening.
Bed, bath and beyond
I love a good bubble bath nearly as much as I love my bed, and find that unwinding in a hot bath before bed really helps me switch off for the night. After a day spent at a desk or crouched over my laptop my muscles can get a bit stiff, so the heat soothes my tired muscles and helps me relax. I have countless bubble baths, bath salts, bath oils and bath bombs all created with the promise of a better night’s sleep – but something as simple as a bit of lavender oil and some Epsom salts in my bath does the world of good. Beyond the bath, I do enjoy a pillow spray, too. I’ve been using the This Works sleep range for nearly two years now and can highly recommend it.
What’s your top tip for a good night’s sleep?
This post was produced in conjunction with Tempur but all thoughts are my own – read my full disclaimer here