*This post is in collaboration with Julian Charles*
If anyone told me even a month ago that I would be researching how to sleep well and even going to the gym just to ensure I get to sleep I would have laughed at them. But the last month or so I have been feeling my age. And more. I slept badly one night and woke up with a crick in my neck and 4 weeks later it was still there. Just as annoying as ever since I could barely get comfortable enough to sleep with my neck out. The crick in my neck got much better after I managed to visit the physiotherapist however, the sleep situation needed more work. This resulted in me frantically Googling things like ‘how to get a good night’s sleep’, ‘how to relax’, ‘am I am insomniac?’ and so on. I can imagine my younger self wondering how getting to sleep could ever be a problem? Well what can I say. It’s a sad state of affairs.
But no amount of Googling works in some cases. When you can’t get sleep you just can’t. Nothing works. Not even drinking industrial amounts of tea. So what does?
Try the Basics for Yourself
Even after all the Googling and research, you need to try out everything for yourself. Most of the basic sleep techniques didn’t really work for me honestly. For instance, even the thought of drinking a glass of hot milk just makes me want to throw up. I also sleep with my phone next to me and drink coffee in the evening and have been doing so forever. The thought of giving this up and making drastic changes to my lifestyle made me more stressed than relaxed.
And another thing – try out essential oils on a weekend or a day you don’t need to get up early. Essential oils like lavender are highly recommended for sleep but honestly, this just doesn’t work for me. I am not a fan of strong scents and they usually give me a headache. So this can go either way so try it for yourself.
The basic sleep tip that did work for me is going to the gym or going for a run. This is a sure shot for me. Exercising and then a hot bath after that is a really easy way to get some sleep. But the exercise has to be something majorly sweat inducing and tiring. Don’t do an adrenaline pumping class which leaves you more energised!
Newly made up Bed
Is there a greater pleasure than sleeping on newly washed bedding? Maybe its just in my mind but I definitely feel more relaxed and sleep better when I have a newly washed and newly made up bed.
Get Yourself a Dull Book
Honestly, I am only half-joking when I say this! I am a complete bookworm and find it very difficult to stop reading. I recently read A Little Life (check my other book recommendations). It’s by no means a dull book – in fact it’s quite the opposite but it’s also a hard book. It’s such a difficult subject to read about and so sad I actually had to stop reading at times just to make myself feel better. I also read short story collections while going to bed – once I am done with a story its time to sleep. It feels more definitive.