Sleep: Some people could do it forever, others never seem to get enough. Some love it more than anything else in the world, others can take it or leave it.
“You can sleep when you’re dead” may well be true BUT there are some very real health risks associated with lack of sleep. It can also really affect your fitness levels. If you’re finding that you are eating well, exercising frequently and yet still have no energy and are holding onto stubborn body fat it may be that you need to get a little more of the good stuff (no that does not mean wine, chocolate or Netflix).
Growing up I had no problems sleeping, I could sleep anywhere. After opening the studio 18 months ago however I started to struggle drifting off and sleep became a frustrating issue. My lovely friend and Mindfulness expert Emma Mills has written her top tips on improving your sleep below. I have also added a checklist of my favourite bedside tools for a better nights shut eye at the bottom of this blog. Enjoy xx
“There are many things that contribute to a good nights sleep. One of them is your state of mind at bed time. Sometimes you feel calm, sleepy and ready for bed. You lay down and before you know it, you are off to sleep. Other times your mind just doesn’t seem to want to switch off, and this can take away from the good night sleep that is so important to health and wellness.
If you watch the nocturnally active mind carefully you might spot it thought hopping. Thought hopping, not to be confused with it’s livelier cousin, club hopping, is what happens late at night when thoughts start racing. Thought hopping is the mind hopping from one preoccupation to another, somewhat indiscriminately. You start off with one thing that’s preoccupying you, I don’t know, like tomorrows meeting for example, and then, when you have assured yourself that tomorrows meeting will be fine and it’s all at hand, well, then you find that within minutes of settling that concern, the mind has mysteriously hopped to a preoccupation with something else. The washing that hasn’t been brought in for example.
If you watch the mind going about it’s business, the same way you would watch your pet dog hiding bones around the house when it thinks no-one is watching, you can get a good view of the minds habits and ways. This is what we in meditation call mindful awareness, simple watching. It helps the wellness savvy lady or gentleman get wise to the mind and it’s ways.
When you are wise to the minds ways, the thoughts and all that mental activity may still go on, but it has less of a pull on you. And as you are less pulled, you pay less attention to it (attention is like rocket fuel for thoughts) and slowly, it just becomes less and less of a problem.…
It is a good idea to cultivate your capacity to be mindful throughout the week, this way when it comes to bed time, you will be well versed.
1) Have a little ready for bed ritual. I like to switch the Wifi off at the wall to start the bed time ritual rolling. Then have a bath, make a hot drink, read something interesting but not too stimulating. For example, I might read a novel but I wouldn’t read poetry which is my fave as I would find that too exciting. Maybe do a little yoga or stretching (watch Hollie’s night time stretch routine HERE) or write in my journal.
2) Get into the habit of doing 5-10 mins of meditation, each day.
3) Practice with a soothing breath pattern in bed, like the 7/11 pattern I use for the Neom Organics Wellbeing Treatments. 7 in, 11 out, this reduces the stress response and gives a calming effect
For more mindfulness tips and to learn how to do it I would recommend visiting my blog www.emmamillslondon.com and downloading the Relax and De-stress meditation kit which will teach you 5 meditations to relax with.”
- Write a gratitude list before bed to leave positive voices in your head.
- Not very sexy but I swear by ear plugs (these are the best I’ve come across) and an eye mask (although not cheap this one is by far the best i’ve ever used)! The biggest change to my sleep was down to this combo. It takes a while to get used to but stick with it.
- Candles: Turn off that big light.
- Neom ‘Perfect Nights Sleep’ pillow spray!
- Bedrooms should be for 2 things – sleep and sex. So get rid of the TV (read instead) and ditch the mobile (use a radio alarm instead, yes remember those). And of course have more sex.
- Hand cream – because you won’t be washing it off.
- Mindfulness. Try to quiet the mind before bed (use a meditation app like Headspace if you struggle with this)
- A bath before bed. If it’s good enough for babies!!