Sleep, one of those things that most people love and far too many don’t get enough. Personally, I’m a big fan of sleep and love to get as much of it as possible. But over the past year or so have found myself sometimes struggling to switch of, uncomfortable in bed, or just burning the candle at both ends. Leading to feeling pretty shattered and definitely not feeling at my best as a result. So when Hillary’s Blinds asked if I wanted to take part in a week of sleep where I would use a snazzy little gadget to track how well I was sleeping and to try a few tips and tricks on how to get a better night of sleep too – then I thought that was a great idea. All being a part of the ‘International Year of Light‘ 2015. In a time when the vast majority of us are connected to our phones every waking moment, simple things like leaving the phone away from the side of the bed… a challenge, but would it make a difference?!
A few tips I swear by when I really need to get a good nights sleep:
Switch off at least an hour before you go to bed:
– Turn off the laptop, but down the phone, stop scrolling twitter… not always as easy as it sounds, but definitely helps go into sleep-mode. As I mentioned in THIS post, I’m trying to get back into reading. So one of the things I did for Sleep Week was pick up a book before bed. Not always when in bed, sometimes just on a sofa or cosy chair. But reading for me is such a great way to wind down.
Get tech out of the bedroom:
– Ok, not as easy in a small London flat maybe. But one thing we did recently was take the TV we previously had in the bedroom out. So no more watching TV in bed, but also means the bedroom is the one room where it’s free of all tech and gadgetry. It instantly makes it feel like a lovely little haven of relaxation, rather than a second living room space to hang out it. It literally becomes more dedicated to sleep and it’s lovely! Plus looks more Pinterest worthy than before…always a plus!
Don’t eat too close to bedtime:
– Another easier said than done, when sometimes long working hours mean that late nights are part and parcel of life and you eat when you can. But where possible we’ve been trying to eat closer to the backend of 7 rather than backend of 9… or 10. It does make such a difference – anyone who has tried to sleep after a big meal will likely agree. One for comfort and two for the fact your body is just busy digesting meaning it doesn’t quite let you relax as you need to for sleep.
Smaller meals before bed:
Similar to the above, a smaller meal before bed can be as good as eating earlier. You know what they say…breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper. Good diet advice apparently, also good for getting some decent Zzz’s.
Don’t take your phone to bed:
My biggest change I made through the sleep week. Leaving my phone in the hall instead of by my bed. Ok, so there were a couple of nights I woke up and mindlessly reached for it and had a mild panic when it wasn’t there. But once I got used to the fact it wasn’t next to me at all times, I was finding I was falling asleep quicker plus I was waking up more gently. On that, we’ve been using one of those Lumie lights to wake up and the difference in how I feel being woken gently by light getting brighter is remarkable versus the shriek of a phone alarm going off at 6.30am (thanks husband). I like that we can use the light to control what would happen naturally if we didn’t block the light out of the bedroom with blinds!
Over the week the main changes to my routine was getting the tech out and leaving my phone out of the room. By tracking my sleep using a FitBit Flex (seriously nifty little gadget) I tracked around 93-95% quality of sleep. One night was lower purely because I had a lot on my mind! The eating thing varied, as I did go out for dinner a couple of nights which tended to mean bigger meals and later eating that I couldn’t totally avoid (choose smaller meals maybe…) but without a doubt having the tech and my phone out of the room just instantly made it a calmer, more relaxing place and led to better sleep for sure.
Post sponsored by Hillary’s Blinds for #HillarysWeekofSleep