In October, we asked members of the eve family to give their tips on how they prepare themselves for bed, what they do if they’re struggling to sleep, and how they get up without hitting the snooze button.
We were overwhelmed with just how many responses we got from people ready to share their sleep solutions. So a big thank you to everyone who filled in our survey form… and see below for a mix of the most popular tips.
LIGHTS DOWN LOW
Preparing your bedroom for sleep is the focus of a number of tips. Lee Kerry (Gravesend) suggests keeping the room cool, whereas Philip Serth (Lincoln) and Jane Palmer (Sheffield) are both fans of low lighting in the bedroom.
Lavender is a popular suggestion – with Tom Fountain (London) suggesting having a nice shower with lavender scented shower gel, and Sarah Carter (Haslemere) recommending dabbing pure lavender oil on your temples and gently massaging in circles when you’re struggling to sleep.
SCENT OF SLEEP
And lavender isn’t the only scent recommended by eve family members – Lucy Martin (Colchester) is a fan of scented candles and Anna Maria Sniezek (Edinburgh) suggests spraying your favourite perfume on your pillow just before bed.
Tom Fountain’s tip of a nice warm shower is echoed by Selina Wainwright (Lancashire) and Chrissie North (Leeds), whereas Naomi Brown (Scunthorpe), Will Blackman (Bournemouth), Keith Ruffell (Norwich) and Tom Ruddock (Southampton) all prefer a nice warm bath.
Susan Roberts (Wolverhampton), Flint Gregory (Penzance) and Tom Ruddock all suggest a glass of warm milk half an hour before, whereas Ann McClatchie (Mid-Glamorgan) prefers a glass of cold milk. Marc Coldwell (Nailsea) bucks the trend completely by recommending not drinking anything at all in the last hour before bed, while Peter Shockledge (Stalybridge) believes that it’s important to not eat too close to bedtime.
TECH A BREAK
No TV, no smartphone, no computers – Susan Penny (Southampton), Derek Brand (Virginia Water) and Marcus Evans (Combeinteignhead) all stress the importance of no technology before bedtime. Although India Brown (London) points out you can use a blue light filter on your smartphone so you can carry on using it before bedtime without the negative effects associated with late night screen use.
Not everyone limits sensory stimulation before bedtime. Will Blackman and Caroline Stanley (Liverpool) both recommend listening to relaxing music. Selina Wainwright suggests listening to waves crashing gently on a phone app that times out so it doesn’t wake you up later. Lee Kerry is a fan of white noise apps if you’re struggling to sleep, along with visualisation techniques – his favourite being walking in a field of red poppies under a blazing blue sky.
Tom Lampard (Woking), Susan Penny and Philip Serth are also fans of visualisation. Philip Serth likes to imagine a holiday somewhere warm, Susan Penny pictures a still pond with a wheel in the middle which is slowly turning and sinking, while Tom Lampard prefers to think about the vastness of space.
Richard Welch (Tamworth) has a helpful tip about focusing on yourself – rather than your surroundings – at bedtime. He suggests that, before getting into bed, you look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Chrissie North has a similar tip – writing down what you’ve achieved during the day and reading it back to yourself in order to congratulate yourself on your successes. Both tips are about remembering to put yourself at the centre of your world and appreciating yourself, which can help you put the day to bed before putting yourself to bed.
Stretching yourself out before bed is another popular tip, with Iain Hook (Gratham) suggesting exercise and both Jo Graham (Brighton) and Anna Maria Sniezek recommending bedtime yoga. It’s a popular tip for waking up too, with Susan Roberts recommending waking yourself up slowly by stretching out – and thinking of positive actions for the day.
Several people – including Jane Starkey (Totnes) and Caroline Stanley – make the point of double-checking your alarm is set to aid the best night’s sleep. If you know you’re definitely going to get up at the right time, no matter how deeply you sleep, then you sleep easier.
When it comes to the morning, both John Keegan (Manchester) and Samantha Horton (West Bromwich) are fans of mind over matter, saying you should just get up when your alarm goes off, and Marcus Evans believes it’s important to hit the day running by throwing off the duvet and showering at pace.
YOUR OWN TUNE
A number of people – including Keith Ruffell and Lucy Martin – suggest putting on the radio or having an upbeat song as your alarm tune, whereas Richard Welch, Will Blackman and India Brown take the more practical approach of simply putting the alarm clock out of reach. For some people, alarm clocks can come in all shapes and sizes. For Selina Wainwright, her alarm is small children, and for Susan McKenna, it comes in the shape of an excitable dog!
When it comes to struggling to sleep, many eve family members suggest getting out of bed and have a break before trying again. Jane Starkey suggests sitting in a straight-backed chair, Kevin Bean (Chesterfield) recommends having a cup of tea, whereas Susan McKenna (Dublin), Jonathan Smith (Wrexham) and Iain Hook prefer a short walk around the house.
Many eve family members – including Caroline Stanley, Chrissie North and Derek Brand – believe in a long-term approach to getting good sleep. They all suggest a regular sleep cycle habit of 8 hours in bed to help you wake up refreshed.