By: Rachel Carney

Me and sleep have always had a rocky relationship. Until about 2 years ago I spent many a sleepless night staring at the ceiling or more realistically scrolling through my Instagram feed only to wake up at 5am with the phone still in my hand.

Now I do things differently. Of course, it doesn’t work out perfectly every night but more often than not I’m asleep within 10 minutes of turning out the lights.

So here are my tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

Put Your Worries Away Until Morning

If I really can’t get to sleep it’s probably because I’m worried about something. Whether it’s coming up tomorrow or in 3 months time I’ll probably have a little daily worry about it and that time usually comes at bedtime.

If it’s 2am and you can’t sleep because you have something on your mind then get up and write it down. That usually makes my worries subside until morning when it’s more likely that I can find a rational solution. If you find yourself constantly worrying about things when you go to bed it might be useful to try listening to some nice sounds or a podcast to take your mind off things while your brain gets ready to sleep.

Exercise

When I spend all day watching Netflix and eating crisps (not that often, I promise!) I feel wide awake by the time bedtime rolls around. On the days that I make an effort to get myself out either to the gym or even just for a little bit of fresh air I not only feel better, but I sleep better. It doesn’t have to be much, just get your heart beating for at least 15 minutes every day!

Cut The Caffeine

I love coffee. I could drink it all day long. Love those americanos, those chocolatey mochas, those pumpkin spice lattes but I also have some rules.

  1. Don’t drink coffee after 6pm. (Unless you have a deadline/exam/insert scary thing here)
  2. Stick to a maximum of 2 coffees a day (plus maybe a special one if you’re passing Starbucks but definitely not daily!)
  3. Drink coffee only when you want a taste of coffee. Don’t drink it to keep you awake. It might work for a little while but then you’ll crash, feel worse and become reliant on it!

Technology Isn’t Evil

Everyone says come off your phone an hour or so before you plan on going to sleep and whilst that may be a good tip, you can use your phone more positively to help you sleep better. I use the Kindle app for reading in bed, Pacifica for listening to calming sounds and a little game called Beyond 14 that I find really relaxing.

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