Helping you get through tough times

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep is one of the most important parts of our daily routine. It allows our brain to relax and recharge for the day ahead.

It is one of the key factors to keeping good mental and physical health. We all know how bad it feels to have a night of poor sleep, and waking up feeling horrible the next day.

Sleep is necessary for having good energy levels, good concentration and good memory.

Why is my sleep disrupted?

There are various reasons for being unable to sleep.

Sometimes, you can’t stop thinking. Worrying about things that may have happened through the day, or maybe even five years ago, or things to come.

Other times you can find it difficult to wind down and relax. You can find that your brain just can’t switch off from the latest episode of Games of Thrones, or you just can’t ignore the buzzing notifications from Facebook.

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep

After a night of poor sleep, it can be very hard to focus in class, or get through a day of work efficiently. It might seem hard to concentrate and you will feel groggy.

You may find that you are low in mood and are quite irritable, with smaller things are getting you, that usually would not.

If you were already feeling a little down, lack of sleep will make everything seem that much worse.

You will feel sluggish, unmotivated and just too tired to do your usual daily tasks.

How can I fix my poor sleeping habits?

Different ways work for different people, so you need to find what works for you.

Here are some of the most common ways to help you relax before bedtime:

1. Hot bath or shower

I like to see this as washing the worries and stresses of the day away. Imagine all of the things bothering you, or stressing you out are going down the drain with the water.

2. A hot beverage

I love a cup of herbal tea before bed, it really helps me relax and unwind. If you don’t like tea you can try other things, like a cup of cocoa, or a favourite of mine when I was younger was Ovaltine. Anything caffeine free, and tasty will do the trick.

3 Listen to music you like

Nothing too stimulating, you don’t want to be tapping your toe or singing along when you’re meant to be winding down. There are some great videos available on Youtube for free, like this one.

>>Listen to these relaxation exercises

4 Clear your mind

Easier said than done but you can help this  by leaving your phone out of reach, on silent. Don’t be tempted to keep checking it, because your mind will stay active.

Yes, we all use it as an alarm, so how about making a pact with yourself, the minute your phone passes your bedroom door at night it goes on flight mode.

Try not to watch tv, or use your computer for up to an hour before sleeping. This will help your mind unwind and relax.

5. Keep a journal

Keep a notebook beside your bed. Write down anything that is annoying you, or stressing you out. You could be surprised how much it helps to get something off your chest before you sleep.

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