>> May 5, 2013
We all need between 8 – 10 hours of sleep a night, but thanks to the pressures of work and the technology which seems to follow us around from dawn until dusk, many of us find it harder than ever before to switch off and unwind. We get into bed still buzzing and confused from all of the seemingly endless stimulation that has greeted us throughout the day, and are simply unable to turn off our mind. We huff and puff, but simply can’t sleep. Insomnia affects a third of people in the UK, and ranges from difficulty falling asleep to waking up during the night or in the early hours. The more high-quality sleep we have, the better we feel and the easier it is for us to cope with the stresses and strains the modern world places on us.
Symptoms of insomnia vary but usually include:
- Difficulty unwinding and falling asleep
- Waking up during the night and being unable to get back to sleep
- Waking up in the early morning
- Finding it hard to concentrate during the day – being distracted, irritable and grumpy
There are some easy steps you can take to address your insomnia before it becomes a more serious problem which requires medical treatment.
Relax and unwind
Some of the steps you can take to help you to relax and unwind in the evening include:
- Taking a warm bath – use a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender, which is known for its relaxing qualities
- Switching off your computer and mobile phone at least a couple of hours before bedtime and sitting down with a good book
- Meditation – just twenty minutes of meditation every day can really help you to relax and let go of the day’s worries, whether you meditate alone or at a class with others. I recommend going on a short meditation retreat to learn the basics. You can learn more about meditation by clicking here. Or perhaps just Google ‘The Art of Meditation’ and seeing what you get!
- Workout – a quick jog or session at the gym after work will help to de-stress you and tire you out, so you’ll sleep better later
- Avoid eating late at night – eat your meal at least a couple of hours before you go to bed so your body isn’t still digesting food when you’re trying to sleep
In addition to the above, if you’re still experiencing problems sleeping, you could invest in earplugs, blackout blinds or an eye mask and soothing music to help you drift gently off to sleep. A few drops of lavender or a spray of natural lavender pillow mist on your bed can also help to soothe you and send you off to the land of nod!
With modern life becoming increasingly fast paced, insomnia is set to become an even more common issue – but by following the above tips you can improve your chances of a restful night’s sleep and wake up feeling energised and refreshed.