The time to wind down before bed time is crucial to better and quicker sleep. There are countless remedies; I am sharing a few personal tips that have helped me greatly the past few years. Sleep is essential for me to manage my fibromyalgia symptoms and reduce trigger flares.
A few strict don’ts two hours before bed time:
- No screen time (includes your phone, social media, television and iPad)
- Do not attend any work-related paperwork or calls
- No caffeine
- No sugar
Do’s in the two hours before bedtime:
- Find a stationary hobby that you can indulge in for 30 minutes each night: meditation, deep breathing, reading, embroidery, knitting, solving puzzles…
- Take a warm shower before getting into bed
- Avoid caffeine after 3PM, choosing herbal brews such as the Calming Brew
- Soak your feet in warm water with Bath Salts that contain magnesium sulphate. This has been known to help relax the body, relieve stress and tensions and thereby help you sleep better
Where you sleep, is it an environment you feel safe and secure in? is it a designated place only for rest and rejuvenation? Much has been said on the environment around the bed to be of great importance. Ensure work-related items are not kept nearby, removing clutter, and ensuring the space is neat and clean. It should be an inviting comforting space for you to release the day’s stresses.
If the blinds are too thin, then opt to wear an eye mask to avoid the early sun rays disturbing your sleep. If the walls are thin and you can hear your neighbours, invest in ear plugs!
The temperature of the room is of vital for your body to be able to relax – this means figure what you and your body is comfortable with in terms of cooling or heating and also extra duvet comforters
Bed linens must be clean, smell fresh and free of food, crumbs and spills!
The quality of sleep greatly improved after using a weighted blanket as it really holds you in, and you resist the urge of moving restlessly even in your sleep. I suffer from occasional restless leg syndrome attacks and this blanket has helped me get through them.
Make a ritual
Make a night-time ritual that can include lighting a scented candle, a cup of tea and novel, or a face massage whilst listening to music. The point of a ritual is to slowly create an ingrained positive habit that signals the brain that it is now time to switch off and go to bed and allow sleepiness to take over.
Exercise + adrenaline
Of course, one must fit in a workout whenever possible, but for those who have severe sleeping troubles, it is recommended to avoid strenuous physical activity 6 hours before bedtime. The understanding is that exercise stimulates the body, increasing alertness and hormones like epinephrine and adrenaline - and awakening the body for hours after which may impact your turn down time.
If you have been working out in the evening times, try switching to a morning or afternoon time for a week and see if it makes a difference.