Go to bed at the same time each night
An old rhyme that one of our Mum’s still likes to tell us, goes like this:
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
That might be somewhat of an over-promise, but keeping to the same (or at least similar) bedtime each night – and getting up in the morning at a similar time – is the strongest start to a new healthier relationship with sleep.
Tick tock body clock
Your internal body clock – we all have one – will start to learn the time that you want to go to sleep. Your body will then start the many clever internal processes to do with hormones that can make you sleepy. You’ll also start to get used to getting the same amount of sleep each night.
For example (if I’ve been behaving myself and not partying too much), I go to bed at about midnight. I then usually wake up between 7:55 am and 8:15 am. That is without an alarm. Often, quite spookily, I wake up between 8:02am and 8:05am. I’m not saying that this is going to happen to everyone, but regular bedtimes definitely work.
Use your bed for sleeping…
We mean: don’t read in bed, don’t watch TV or movies in bed, don’t write emails in bed, and so on. A lot of us do this, and this makes it tricky to unwind as we’re both consciously and subconsciously associating anxiety-inducing activities with the place where we need to be least anxious.
Sometimes it might mean we have awesome dreams about Star Trek Deep Space 9 because we’ve fallen asleep during an episode, but sadly, that rarely happens.
Sex in bed is also definitely allowed
Yes, we know sex is definitely very different from sleeping, but here are three science facts that will help you see what what we’re talking about:
- Sex boosts oxytocin, a hormone that makes you feel connected to your partner, so you’re going to be more likely to want to snuggle up with them and fall asleep
- Sex lowers the stress-related hormone cortisol. Less stress is always good for sleep
- Having an orgasm releases the hormone prolactin. It’s what makes you feel relaxed and sleepy after you’re ‘done.’
So even if you’re having an orgasm ‘on your own’, it’ll help you sleep. You may have tried this already.
Wear something comfortable that makes you feel good
Like a pair of gorgeous boxers, briefs or other undies, obviously. You know where you can get those from… But physical comfort goes beyond underwear.
Make sure you dim the lights in your bedroom before you sleep so your body can get used to the sudden change of light levels and start to unwind. Maybe do some meditation or another form of ‘wind-down’ routine. We find that writing a list of what we need to do the next day can free our mind of over-thinking and help us drift off.
Exercise and healthy diet
Of course, this is obvious, exercise and healthy diet are good for (almost) everything. Too much sugar just before bed? You’re not gonna sleep great. Been sat at your desk all day and haven’t had even so much as a walk to the shops or local park to stretch your legs? You’ll be more likely to be feeling restless.
Got any tips you’d like to share with us, let us know in the comments section below?