How to sleep better

By 08:00

Over the last month I have been testing out a list of things that people across the internet swears helps you sleep better and then using a sleep cycle app to help see if any of them really make a difference and on a simpler level, do any of them help me get to sleep quicker?

Image result for sleep is goodFirstly I tried the method of Sleep Expert Colin Espie:
  • 1.     Relaxation techniques: according to Espie there are two specific techniques which allow you to relax enough to simply drop off. The first is progressive muscle relaxation (the sysyematic tensing and deep relaxation of your body’s major muscle groups). The second is imagery training which involves focused mental tension by immersing yourself in a pleasant visual scene which focuses on the senses. Combined with deep breathing for approximately ten minutes.

How successful?
With this method I did get into a heavier sleep a lot quicker. The biggest problem was the time – nearly quarter of an hour lying in bed. It was really difficult to stay focused on a specific image for that long. 

  • 2.     A cuppa: if you ask anyone how to get to sleep, they will almost definitely say one of two things: relax, or have a hot drink before bed. Warm milk is a common choice so I gave that a go, and I also decided to see if the night tea advertised really did what it said.

How successful?
After a week of drinking the caffeine-free night time herbal tea I have to say it did start to have an effect although I think it was more psychological. It became part of the routine, when I smelt it I knew it was nearly time for bed. The milk had less of an effect, I think because, there is no real smell or anything for milk and so, there was no association between it and sleep.

3.     Entertainment: I am putting a few things under this heading, beneficial things before bed, and not so helpful things. It is well documented that television or mobile phones half an hour before you go to sleep can make it harder for you to ‘drop off’ because your brain is still stimulated. I thought I would also think about positive things to do before bed such as reading (one Doctor even recommended if you struggle to get to sleep get out of bed so as to not associate bed with lack of sleep, and then do something like a jigsaw).
How successful?
This definitely helped speed up how long it took to get to sleep. I’m not sure if reading or doing something similar particularly helps, but it does appear to calm the body down before bed. It appears, after looking it up, that a number of people feel the same.

Have a wonderful week, 
The Clumsy Wordshaker

photo courtesy of and Holland and Barrett

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