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Fashion,beauty and jewellery for sassy women over 40

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

5 simple ways to get a good night's sleep

Is This Mutton's guide to getting a good night's sleep
It seems everyone is having trouble sleeping these days. Even school children, we're told.

There are sleep clinics, various herbal remedies (none of them work, by the way) and no end of lore on the internet on how to sleep.

I'm lucky in that I sleep well, generally from 10 until 6am, which is a good eight hours. I don't change my routine at the weekend - I rarely "lie in" any later than seven. You can't "bank" sleep and continually getting more than nine hours is said to be a marker for dementia in later life.

I'm a firm believer in good sleeping habits or "sleep hygiene" as it's often called. Here are my five rules for sleeping well:


1. Get your body and mind ready for bed


Your body and brain need some clues that you're preparing to wind down for the night. When people swear by Horlicks, it's the ritual of preparing and drinking it at a certain time every night that works, not the drink itself  (although drinks like this, and warm milk, have ingredients which relax you).

Don't leave dinner too late or your body will be busy with digestion. 

My signal to the brain is usually that I go to bed around 9 - 9.30 and read my Kindle in a quiet room with no flashing blue lights and no music or TV. By no flashing blue lights I mean no phones, and we'll come on to that.

I find that even with the most gripping book, I'm becoming sleepy after 30 minutes.

2. Don't share your room with tech


If it's not there, you can't use it. I leave my phone downstairs when I go to bed. It doesn't need to charge all night, and I look forward to catching up in the morning. The flashing lights are very distracting to the brain. I really do sleep better with no tech in the room.

This is key for teenagers and children who can't sleep. If they aren't getting a good night's sleep they won't have the energy to concentrate and they'll eat more. If you don't get enough sleep, eating more, and badly, is a direct result. The argument that you need your phone as an alarm clock is spurious: use an old-fashioned alarm clock or a Lumie body clock, which gives you a lovely gradual sun rise to waken to.


3. Calm your mind

One of the things that keeps many of us awake is worrying about your to do list for the next day or week. You toss and turn wondering how you're going to get it all done. My tip is to write your To Do list for the next day at the end of your working day.  Concentrate on the important items. If the list includes things you dread, and you know you procrastinate, identify the time of day when you're at your best and tackle one of those tasks then.  I'm always very alert in the morning so I deliberately make myself do boring things then: tax returns, spreadsheets, etc.

By detailing your action plan for the next day in advance, your brain gets a sense of closure and you'll be less likely to run through everything at night.


4. Make yourself tired


It sounds an obvious thing to say, but if you've been sitting down all day, at a desk or in a car, you're probably not going to be very tired physically. Find a time of day that works for you to do some exercise. Maybe a speedy walk in your lunch break? I don't sleep well when I haven't had any exercise. Exercise before bed is said to be a bad thing. 

5. Make your bed a haven

Most of us have mattresses which have long passed their sell-by. We're told we should get a new one every 10 - 15 years. Pillows matter too, don't let them get squashed or lumpy.

Vaccum your mattress at least once a fortnight and wash bedding at 60 degrees to get rid of dust mites.

Have quality bedding that makes you feel good. Remember how lovely it feels in certain  hotels, to sink into the downy embrace of their duvet and pillows.

Ensure you have a proper black out with your curtains or blinds. 

Sweet dreams!

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2 comments

  1. Great tips thanks for sharing them. Have a nice weekend.

    Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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I love to get your comments! Go ahead, make my day. I like to reply to your comments so please make sure you tick the box to be notified of comments. Gail x

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