I could go on about this for hours, but instead I thought a handy little guide to my top tips for sleep, would be welcomed
1. The right environment
Somewhere comfortable, safe, the right temperature and calming. A chaotic bedroom can be distracting for restful sleep. Bedrooms should be for sleeping and sex, nothing else!
2. Bust that Blue Light
Feeds into above - no devices and screens in the bedroom and keep them off for at least an hour before you hit the hay. Blue light from screens inhibits the hormone melatonin, which is needed to help you feel sleepy and encourages a restful nights sleep. By upsetting this balance you don't get the beautiful natural hormonal dance which helps you to feel rested and wake feeling refreshed. You're more likely to struggle getting to sleep and wake up feeling sluggish and tired still.
3. And Relax...
I suppose this is fairly obvious, but do something which helps you relax! A soothing bath, reading or meditation are popular ones. I personally love a bit of meditation
4. Kick the Caffeine
Just say no, to caffeine after about 6pm! Please note...there is caffeine in chocolate! A relaxing herbal tea could be just the ticket, The Herb Garden's Chill Out tea is a perfect bedtime cuppa with delicious lavender and rose nestling in amongst passionflower, lime flowers and fruity lemon verbena and lemon balm.
5. Don't give yourself the time
Or rather more specifically, try not to clock watch! I'm all for alarm clocks but perhaps face it away from you so you aren't glaring at it all night?
6. Ditch the Booze
Contrary to popular belief, a nightcap doesn't give you a better nights sleep. Alcohol can interfere with sleep, making it less restful and restoring
7. Switch your brain off
This can be supremely difficult and is very multifaceted. Lots of the previous tips are working towards giving you a clear mind in preparation for sleep, but some people find that keeping a journal helps, or a notepad and pen next to your bed for all those last minute 'oh I mustn't forget' moments. This internal monologue is something which I see in patients often, and something that herbs can be really useful for. I love skullcap and passionflower and they often feature in my night time mixes!
Aromatherapy can be incredibly useful for helping to calm and relax: lavender and chamomile are two of the most widely used oils, but there is a whole range which you could investigate...mandarin, neroli, frankincense to name a few. Neal's Yard do a lovely Night Time blend in an oil and roll on and The Herb Garden have a wonderful Relaxing range too. Plenty to ease you into a delicious nights sleep
This and by no means least is one of my faves. Spacemasks took the beauty and sleep world by storm last year and you can see why. These masks gently warm up when taken out of the packet, infused with jasmine they are an absolute delight and can really help a good nights sleep. It's £15 for a pack of 5 masks - they come individually sealed so you can use them for little gifts too (if you can bear to part with them!) I often pop them in with a new mums gift, or for someone recuperating from an illness.
There's probably enough there to be getting on with, but of course for complex issues and for guidance with herbs and supplements, then seeking the advice of a medical herbalist is important. A full consultation gives us the time to discuss your health fully and work on the very best tailor made course of treatment for yourself and your specific health concerns.
Take it easy....and get some good sleep!