At these unprecedented, strange times during lockdown, our bodies and minds are undergoing a hell of a lot of stress and for myself and many others, getting a solid nights sleep is becoming more and more difficult with the state that the world is currently in.
Too little sleep affects mood, contributing to irritability and sometimes depression. Vital functions occur during different stages of sleep that leave you feeling rested and energised or help you learn and forge memories.
Although I’ve suffered with Anxiety for over 10 years, sleep deprivation can come and go, depending on how I’m doing mentally and emotionally. If you struggle with any mental health problems, you’ll be no stranger to having some issues with sleeping occasionally. So, I thought that I’d share some of my tried and tested tips for getting a somewhat decent night’s sleep when struggling with anxiety. environment
before you begin: Alter Your Sleeping Environment
Before I go to bed, I always *try* and give myself some time to make sure that my bed and whatever I’m surrounded by is tidy. Personally, if I know there’s mess anywhere, I can’t fully relax. It makes me feel uneasy and usually results in me running through all the tasks and chores I need to do the next day. Basically, it just plays on my mind If I know there’s something around me that could quickly be tidied up.
If you find having a night light or fairy lights on around you makes you feel calm, then add them to your room and set yourself a routine of setting it all up, as you establish that routine of going to bed and doing something that isn’t scrolling through instagram, you’re mind and body will fall naturally into this routine, and having a cosy environment perfect for sleeping will help all of that in the long run also.
Step one: Establish a Routine
Keeping a routine is something that I’m personally, really bad at. I like to be spontaneous and my mood (and iron levels) usually determine what my day will end up like and how productive I actually am that particular day. Of an evening, I have what I like to call a ‘loose routine’. It’s not a routine that I’m overly strict with, but I usually do a handful of the list before I go to bed, if I can’t be bothered to do it all.
- Wash my face & do a quick skincare routine
- Get pyjamas on (obvs)
- Undress the bed, pile up pillows and close the bedroom curtains
- Sit and read, draw or write out tomorrows to do list (if I have time)
- Spray pillows with lavender spray or pillow spray
- Put on eye cream & hand cream
- Put on a podcast or headspace to help focus my mind off of the occurrences from the day
Step 2: Invest In a Pillow Spray
Okay, this step isn’t necessary for everyone, not going to lie. However, since around October 2019, I’ve been using a pillow spray every single night and I don’t think I could sleep without one now (I even have a travel size for when I’m traveling or staying at my mums.) Long story short, a pillow spray is a mixture of heavenly scents and essential oils that will aid in your relaxation as you drift off to sleep. It’s nothing that’s going to completely knock you out, but the scent of them is so comforting and I’ve really noticed that I get less of a broken sleep when using one.
Step 3: Meditation & sleep podcasts
Anyone who mentions struggling to sleep to me, will know that I ALWAYS recommend the Headspace app. I’ve used the app for as long as I can remember and use it everyday and night without fail.
There’s so much useful stuff to practise meditation and mindfulness, in a way that’s efficient and can easily be slotted into your lifestyle and daily routine. There’s small meditation sessions that you can do at your desk in work if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed and a bunch of other guided meditations whether you’re dealing with heartbreak, grief or depression.
Every night as I drift of to sleep, I put on one of their ‘Sleepcasts’ it’s a mixture of a short guided meditation which changes depending on what one you select and a story that involved ambient and relaxing sounds. I love the sleepcasts as you get a little bit of meditation, but also have something to focus your brain on as you’re going to sleep, rather than allowing your brain to pick apart anything and everything from that day.
I hope you found this somewhat helpful. Obviously, I am not a Doctor, however, I wanted to share some tips that I swear by when it comes to getting a good night sleep!
Stay Groovy x