The Stupid Truth Suggests: Inviting Sleep


Traditionally, as the seasons change we find ourselves struggling to invite sleep. For those of us who suffer from insomnia, night terrors and broken sleep, experiencing a well-rested slumber can be few and far between.


While some experiences are due to neurological issues, others are often caused by our diet, exercise patterns and stress-levels. Likewise, our hydration levels can also majorly impact on our sleeping routines. Considering the amount of extraneous variables that can widely affect how we sleep, it's safe to assume that each method may only work for a select number of people. However, if you have always suffered from broken sleep, then you will be more than accustomed to the trial and error process of finding alternative routines.


Whether you are trying to invite more sleep into your schedule, or instigate your regular eight hours, some of these tried and tested methods may allow you to finally reach your goal of a peaceful night's rest. It is important to remember, patience is always the key to successful trials. Unless you experience severe or horrendous results the first time, you should try each method at least three times to see the real benefit of it. This method has always been the golden rule for behaviour management, whether in the workplace, education or home setting, and it will certainly help you to truly understand if the trick works for you.


Exploring the best natural routes for your body and mind may also influence other changes in your life. For example, by drinking more water you are not only keeping your body hydrated but you will also be nourishing your skin. Exercising earlier on in the day can also help your mind to become less active during sleep, but improve your metabolism in the long term. While some people may heavily rely on sleeping pills, as prescribed by their doctor, it is important to trial different approaches before reaching that conclusion yourself. Natural remedies that entice you to sleep will always be better than artificial means.


Lavender

You may or may not know that Lavender contains subtle nuances that can help encourage sleep and calmness. Now you think about it, it's probably a no-brainer! So many natural remedies include hints of Lavender, which, as you may have realised, allow your body to rest and relax a lot easier.


If you are feeling stressed, agitated and unsettled, taking a bath with Epsom Salts and Lavender oil can be one simple solution to inviting calm. From the warmth of the water, the natural healing remedies of the Epsom Salts partnered with the stress-reducing aroma of Lavender can allow your mind to settle. As you allow your body and muscles to relax in the water, your stress levels will begin to decline giving yourself a moment of tranquillity.


While running a bath on a daily basis can become expensive, there are less expensive ways to invite the gentle aroma of Lavender into your routine. Lavender Pillow Mist, by The Body Shop, can be quickly sprayed onto your pillow before sleep. Thanks to its subtle and calming scent, it encourages your mind to relax and focus on your slumber. The reviews are fantastic for this product. As an Independent Consultant with The Body Shop at Home, I can definitely say that this spray has had some fantastic results and is highly sought after. If this is something you are interested in, then connect with me via my Facebook group and I will help you out.


Likewise, scattering lavender scented bags around your house is another way to naturally introduce your body to its healing effects. Often, these little bags are placed in drawers or amongst clothes in a wardrobe to reduce the musty smell from clothes that aren't touched from one year to the next. These bag are also used alongside Christmas trees to invite gentle scents around the area.


It may help you to journal your sleep patterns a few days before trialling lavender. As you continue to document your sleep, you may notice that your tone of writing and your general attitude towards other tasks may also change.


Yoga and Meditation

Lowering your heart rate and providing yourself with five to ten minutes of relaxation time can be the key to a good night’s rest. Often, it is an overactive mind that will contribute to the downfall of our sleeping patterns. One way to kerb the irrelevant and – quite frankly – annoying chatter is to allocate some time for yourself.

With our insanely chaotic home lives, we can often find excuses when considering taking time for ourselves. It’s easy enough to blame a pile of washing that needs doing as a reason to neglect ourselves of time. Sadly, and it is with no thanks to our fast-paced culture, we place unnecessary pressures on ourselves to get insignificant jobs done, this often results in us only feeling a small amount of satisfaction until the same job, or one like it, needs to be done again. I’m here to tell you that it is safe to ignore those jobs for five minutes. If you don’t fold the washing straight away after it has dried, it isn’t the end of the world and your house is not going to explode.

If you are not accustomed to giving yourself a break, then this is something you will need to significantly work on. If you are your own saboteur, finding five to ten minutes to partake in yoga, or some form of meditation, towards the end of your day will be the hardest part. But let me tell you that it will be so worth your time. When trying to induce sleep, slowing your heart rate and quietening the noise in your brain is one way to set yourself up for your slumber. Yoga is a fantastic way to do this. Whether you use a book, mobile phone app or YouTube, you will find a series of nurturing poses that entice your mind and body into a state of relaxation. Bed time yoga is especially perfect for allowing your body to feel soothed and your mind to feel calm. Coupled with meditation, bed time yoga will encourage your heart rate to lower, while meditation focuses your mind and draws it closer to a tranquil state. As meditation mainly uses breath work, it also ensures that your internal systems receive a healthy amount of oxygen while also acting as a quick stress-reliever.

Did I mention that the best part of bed time yoga is that you can do it all from the comfort of your mattress?

Reduce exposure to blue light

As a digital age, we are all guilty of sitting behind computer and TV screens for far too long. Of course, some of us are unable to avoid this if our day jobs centre around using technology, yet we often come home and unwind in front of the television. I’m not here to tell you that is wrong – because it isn’t -, we all have our own ways of relaxing. You should do what is best for you after all. However, if you do suffer with an inability to sleep then limiting your time in front of the screen might help. If that is not a possibility for you, and you are stubborn to the bone, try apps that reduce blue light or blue light blocking glasses.


Reducing exposure to blue light also aids in averting headaches, migraines and eye strain. All of these points are also quite heavily linked with an inability to sleep or difficulty staying asleep. If you are also exposed to blue lights before bed time, then it likely that this was due to a laptop screen, phone screen or television screen. Even more so, the activity that you do before bed can also encourage your mind to become active, thus removing the ability to sleep easily. If you are engrossed in a game, movie or regular Facebook chatter, then it is highly probable that your mind has become distracted from unwinding and has found its way into a busy state. Even if you are someone who won't reduce the amount of hours sat behind a screen, investing in a pair of blue light blocking glasses could be a real game changer. Results have shown that migraines, headaches and sleep deprivation have significantly dropped since using blue light blockers.


Using a software that removes the blue light is also another viable option. F.lux and Anti-Blue Light are designed to completely remove the harmful blue light that originate from your computer and phone screens. Even if you have blessed with eight hours of rest every night, these blue lights can become incredibly harmful on the eyes. As we are still relatively new to this digital age, there is no real telling what the long term effects are from exposure to blue light. However, it is clear that the short term doesn't look good.


It is always my belief that heading to bed with a clear mind and conscious is an easy tool to help you sleep. To ensure that I don't inundate you with suggestions, I feel it is the best course of action to share a few ideas at a time. Too much information, particularly when we may already feel frustrated about our lack of sleep, can become overwhelming rendering your search unhelpful.


The rule of three is also an important method to follow. If previous trials were only tried once, restart the routine. Even if you had a bad experience the first time, try not to rule it out. If your body isn't used to a particular method, then it will take time for it to acclimatise. Patience is key. You will get there.


I will follow up this topic again with another series of suggestions to help you find the best solution.


Moral of the sleep story:

  • Try all methods three times to really see if it works for you

  • Patience is key - try not to sabotage your own experiences with preconceived ideas

  • Try not to inundate your mind with too much information or activity before bed time