Milk & cookies
Milk & cookies
Drink warm milk (cookies optional) for a better night's sleep #rockmystyle
Cherries
Cherries
What to eat for a better night's sleep #rockmystyle
Cowshed Knackered Cow
Cowshed Knackered Cow
Take a lavender bath for a better night's sleep #rockmystyle
Smart snack
Smart snack
What to eat for a better night's sleep #rockmystyle
Pukka Night Time Tea
Pukka Night Time Tea
Drink a sleep-inducing herbal tea for a better night's sleep #rockmystyle

Sleep Easy

Author: Miranda Eason

Some people fall asleep easily, stay asleep all night and wake up feeling totally refreshed and ready to face the day. I am not one of those people.

Falling asleep comes fairly easily to me, but staying asleep, not so much. A typical night’s sleep goes something like this: drift off at some point before midnight, wake up around 2am, toss and turn for several hours, either eventually falling back to sleep and waking up to my alarm feeling groggy and unrested, or giving up on sleep and mainlining coffee for the rest of the day. Neither is ideal. Over time I’ve learned that the following strategies help me sleep more soundly.

Drink tea

About half an hour before I go to bed I make myself a mug of Pukka Night Time tea. Admittedly it tastes a bit weird, but you get used to it and the combination of herbal ingredients works like a sleeping pill in a mug. If you really can’t get on board with the taste a mug of warm milk, cookies optional, works well too.

Download Sleep Cycle

The Sleep Cycle app is brilliant. You plug in your iPod, type in what you’ve been up to that day, select a sound to listen to as you fall asleep and, finally, set your wake up time. During the night the app tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up when you’re in the lightest sleep phase so it’s less of a shock to the system. The genius of it is that over time you can work out what helps you have your best night’s sleep and change your routine accordingly. Be warned, you will get obsessed with your stats.

Snack smart

Eating a big meal right before bed usually results in a bad night’s sleep for me, but a snack of a small banana or a handful of almonds (both of which contain sleep-promoting ingredients) about an hour before I hit the sack helps me sleep better. I’m yet to try it, but apparently a glass of cherry juice, or a handful of fresh, for zone or dried cherries before before bed helps you sleep better too. There are also natural supplements like melatonin or kratom, which people swear by for ages. You can look for kratom shops near you online – or get melatonin at pretty much any pharmacy close to you.

Have a lavender-scented bath

At the end of a busy day a warm bath puts me into sleep mode, even more so when it’s scented with lavender, which is well known for its sleep-inducing properties. Cowshed’s Knackered Cow range, which includes a bath and shower gel, body lotion and candles is my favourite.

Get your om on

Having read that in order to get a good night’s sleep it’s best to avoid exercising in the evening I was a confirmed morning yogi, until my Sleep Cycle stats showed that I sleep better when I do yoga in the evening. The brilliant Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga suggests the following sequence if you suffer from insomnia: a couple of rounds of cat and cow followed by a seated forward fold, plow pose, shoulder stand, legs up the wall, finishing up with savasana.

Do you struggle with your sleep? What helps you get a good night’s sleep? Do share below.

{Contributors}
Author
Born in Yorkshire. Lives in East London. California girl at heart.
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16 thoughts on “Sleep Easy

  1. Hello! Loving the new site!

    I too am a very poor sleeper and it’s madeall the more annoying by sharing a bed with my uber efficient sleeper of a fiance. Seriously, all he has to do is close his eyes and lay his head on a pillow and he’s drifted off..

    The things that have helped me are limiting my brains access to colourful stimuli right before bed – so that means laying off the precious iphone/ipad and not watching any tv for a bit before I try to sleep. Instead I read – which is fine for me because that’s my favourite hobby anyway. I light some candles or put on some lamps and snuggle down with a blanket and a good book.

    Another thing that I swear by is exercise. I sleep so much better if I’ve done some physical activity that day – whether it’s running, my Davina DVD or just going for a bit of a walk.

    I hope that helps! Jen Xx

    1. So happy to hear that you’re loving the site Jen! And thank you so much for all your sleep-better advice. I have gotten into a terrible habit of taking my laptop to bed and having a session on Pinterest, or catching up with The Bridge on my iPad. Will try switching them all off well before bed and keeping all my devices out of the bedroom!
      Miranda x

  2. Loving the new website and loving this topic! I too suffer from irregular sleep patterns and gets worse when I’m stressed at work. I have found that a few drops of lavender on my pillow has really helped me drift off and stay relaxed throughout the night.

    Looking forward to coming on the website every day!!

    M xx

    1. My sleep goes totally out of the window when I’m stressed about work too. Will try some lavender on my pillow. Thank you for the tip! x

  3. Have you tried any of the This Works sleep range? I got my husband the sleep balm and it’s definitely helping him. I’ll happily sleep through anything and have been known to sleep through fire alarms!

  4. First up – I love the variety of content being posted! More general tips and hacks to get through life’s sometimes stressful times would be great!

    I did have real problems getting a good night’s sleep. No problem falling asleep, or even staying asleep, but waking up in the morning feeling terrible and like I’d been beaten up. It turns out our bed wasn’t really up to scratch, and was too soft and uneven! We’ve now got a new bed with a good quality mattress and it has made so much difference, good sleep cannot come without a good bed/mattress!

    1. So happy you like the variety of content Kitty! Hmm, I think I need to invest in a new mattress too. Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t come cheap!

  5. Loving the site!
    Kitty – I see your good quality mattress and raise you with a good quality pillow! If you struggle to sleep when you’re away from home, then take your pillow with you – it definitely helps me.
    I also like to add vanilla extract to my warm milk for a sleep inducing delicious drink.

    1. Thank you Anna! I agree, my sleep definitely improved when I invested in new pillows, but I hadn’t considered taking one away with me. Will be popping one in my case from now on. Vanilla-flavoured warm milk sounds yummy, trying that for sure!

  6. Pinterest and scrumptious blogs like this are the only real threat to my zzz’s but if I do need some help I swear by chamomile tea (loose, in a proper tea pot and with honey) and the Body Shop Deep Sleep range, (especially the pillow mist and bath milk.) I like a nice wind down with a beauty routine too. The Liz Earle hot cloth polish is a lovely way to wash away the day!

  7. Good shout Anna! I took my own pillows away with me when I stayed at my dad’s and I think he was a bit offended. But his pillows were like pancakes so it had to be done.

    Miranda if you’re thinking of purchasing – our new bed is Harrison and it is without a doubt the most comfortable thing I have ever laid on (besides an inflatable in a pool on our honeymoon in Mexico!). It has a winter side and a summer side and is made with all natural materials – lush.

    I envy you all who are able to have lovely drinks before bed – if I do I end up waking because I need a wee!

  8. Hi Miranda! I suffered from terrible sleep patterns for a number of months- to the point where I was just driven mad with exhaustion and the sheer frustration of not being able to nod off. It may seem extreme but in desperation I visited a hypnotherapist who talked me through every aspect of my battle against the zzzzs! It didn’t work immediately. In fact I almost threw the towel in as it seemed like a waste of money. However looking back it was the most amazing thing I could have done; I nod off more quickly and stay asleep for far longer than I remember. I cannot recommend it enough xx

  9. I have have a history of chronic insomnia dating back to childhood – so about 30 years! I recently read a book called ‘the Sleep School’ by Dr Guy Meadows. 3 weeks later I’m sleeping almost normally for the first time in my life. The premise of the book is that we need to stop struggling with insomnia – it’s actually the struggle that keeps us awake! It encourages giving up sleep ‘props’ like warm drinks, deep breathing etc. Instead there are easy mindfulness exercises which really help. I don’t usually comment on blogs, but insomnia is so miserable, I really want to share this book which has been literally life changing for me.

  10. Have you tried melatonin? It works really well for me & can be purchased online from iherb. I also find that the app Digipill works really well – download the hypnosis ‘pill’ for sleep, I find it helps when i’m thinking about stuff too much. Also the Bach flower remedy ‘White Chestnut’ is good for when you have thoughts going round and round in your head.

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