Burning the candle at both ends? Feeling stressed? We fall out of love with sleep for many reasons, but our relationship with slumber is so important for our physical and mental wellbeing.
One of the biggest doses of self-care you can give yourself is showing your sleep routine a little love. And the best part? It’s a relatively simple process. Use one (or all) of our tips below to improve your relationship with sleep…
Adopt a wind-down routine
According to eve’s go-to sleep expert Christine Hansen, an important ways of improving sleep is to practise the same nightly pattern. When you persist with the routine, your body and brain respond to, and welcome, sleep a lot more easily.
Aside from sticking to a similar bedtimes, add personal touches to your wind-down routine to make the process relaxing and something you look forward to – whether it’s lighting a candle, reading a few pages of your book, making yourself a sleep-friendly snack (yep, these exist) or taking half an hour to listen to a podcast.
Worrying about how many hours sleep you’re going to get, or putting pressure on yourself to sleep like a baby isn’t conducive to good slumber. So, don’t think of sleep in terms of quantity and take steps to make your evenings a little calmer.
Quick breathing exercises are great at reducing stress levels at bedtime. Focus on breathing from your stomach – it’s calmer than breathing from your chest. Put your hands flat on your belly and start breathing in for four seconds. Feel it rising. Breathe out for four seconds, and feel your belly sinking. Repeat for as long as you need to.
And if your thoughts go in to overdrive as soon as your head hits the pillow, Christine recommends writing them down to diffuse negative thinking. Or start a gratitude journal and write down three good things that happened in your day – from a free Pret coffee or an empty tube seat. Whatever floats your boat.
We spend around 25 years asleep during an average lifetime, so it’s good to love your sleep environment. Is your mattress showing signs of wear and tear? Could the added cloud-like bounce of a topper help? Maybe you find yourself getting hot at night, and need some soft and breathable linen sheets?
From the little to large, eve have a range of products to help you love your sleep again – or to just enhance what you already have.
As we mentioned, physical wellbeing and sleep are mutually beneficial – and staying active can have an impressive impact on sleep quality. Spending some of the day on the move can help your body, mind and sleep.
Yoga is a particularly handy tool for diffusing mental and physical stress.
Ditch your alarm
You’re in a deep sleep and suddenly the sound of your alarm shocks you awake, leaving you with that groggy haven’t-slept-a-wink-feeling all morning. Sound familiar?
Being awoken mid-sleep cycle isn’t great for energy levels, according to Christine. If you’re happy to part with your usual alarm, there are great apps out there (e.g. Sleep Cycle) that aim to wake you during your lightest phase of sleep. Wake-up light therapy and sunrise alarm clocks are also good options for those tiring of the jolt-inducing phone alarm.