Forget counting sheep – if you have trouble drifting off into a peaceful slumber, try our directions to the land of Nod instead…
1) Make space for sleep Clear your bedroom of all electronicdistractions, including mobile phones, TVs and laptops, to create a more peaceful environment.
2) Take a bath Having a warm soak before bed will help you unwind. It will also raise your body temperature, and the drop in temperature that follows this will encourage your body to think it’s time to go to sleep. Add essential oils to your bath to enhance the effect.
3) Go for a run Exercising during the day can help you to nod off at night. But don’t do a tough workout too close to your bedtime, or you may struggle to drift off.
4) Create a no-work policy Try not to do any work-related tasks in your bedroom as it can affect your ability to switch off from your daily concerns. No emails, no bills, no stress! Make your room a haven for sleep (and sex!) only.
5) Get into a routine Our bodies like routine, so going to bed and waking at similar times each day (including the weekends) will help you to programme your body to sleep better.
6) Take in the aroma Sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow to help you drift off into a deep and peaceful sleep. Research has shown that aromatherapy with lavender can help to slow the activity of your nervous system, improve sleep quality and promote relaxation. Plus, it smells gorgeous!
7) Cut the coffee Avoid caffeine and other stimulants in the evenings, as they may prevent you reaching a deep sleep. Have a hot milky drink or a chamomile tea instead.
8) Get up If you can’t get to sleep, or you wake up during the night, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something quiet and relaxing, such as reading, for around 20 minutes – but don’t flick on the telly, it will only make your brain more alert – then head back to bed.
9) Take a herbal remedy Herbs can be used to temporarily relieve sleep problems caused by anxiety. Try A Vogel Dormeasan Valerian-Hops oral drops, £9.15.
10) Turn down the lights Keep the lighting low in the hour or so before you head to bed then, once you’re tucked in, make sure your room is as dark as possible. Invest in blackout blinds or curtain liners for a completely dark and soothing environment.