By MELISSA WELLHAM
We all take care of ourselves during the day. Or at least, most of us try to. Exercise, eating well, wearing sensible shoes if you’re going to be walking a long distance (everyone fails this last one occasionally). The usual.
But despite our best efforts to looks after ourselves during the day, many people don’t think about what it takes to have a healthy night’s sleep.
When you don’t get a good night’s sleep you’re likely to be more stressed the next day. And when you’re stressed, it means you’re even less likely to get to sleep for the second night in a row. It’s a vicious cycle.
I have suffered from insomnia, on and off, for many years.
Whenever I have had sleeping problems, I have become an emotional wreck. Tired, weepy, and unable to concentrate. It’s not pretty.
But over the years, I have developed some tips and tricks to help me get through the night. So if you need help falling asleep, this may help you. Fingers crossed.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is brought to you by Sealy Posturepedic Matresses. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
This may seem pretty obvious – but it’s difficult to do in practice. The more you tell your body to relax (or your mind to ‘just shut up already, please, I’m tying to sleep’) the less likely it is to happen.
My number one piece of advice for overcoming sleep problems is to download meditation podcasts. Seriously.
I know, I know. It’s a little bit hippy and kooky, but listening to meditation tracks has absolutely worked wonders for my sleeping patterns. You can download plenty of free meditation podcasts online – many of them specifically designed to help you get to sleep – pop in some earphones, and just follow the sound of soothing voice into oblivion.
If the idea of a stranger whispering quietly into your ear as you’re trying to get to sleep sounds a little creepy, then you can always try the classic ‘soothing whale noises’ or ‘peaceful melodies of the rainforest’ tracks.
What you eat before bed can also have a surprisingly significant effect on how you sleep throughout the night. Hot tip: don’t eat a whole wheel of sharp cheddar before bed. You will be having some fairly bizarre dreams if you do.
Other foods and beverages to avoid include wine, tea and coffee from 3pm (do I really need explain this one?), and dark chocolate.
Foods that apparently help improve sleep include cherries, bananas, and – like your grandmother always said – a warm glass of milk.
Some argue that milk improves sleep because it contains tryptophan, which is involved in seratonin production. Personally I think warm milk just brings back comforting childhood memories, but whatever floats your boat.