Since I was little, I’ve been the queen of sleeping anywhere. Comfy sofa? Nap time for sure. Car journey? I can feel myself yawning just thinking about it. On a train? One way ticket to snoozeville, please!
During the night, I’ve always found it fairly effortless to stay asleep too; noises never really woke me up, I could pretty much sleep through anything. The only exception was the dog crying when she was a little puppy, and more recently before I moved to London, as she randomly wakes herself up and barks in the night (oh, the joys of owning a pooch!).
But since I moved, I’ve sometimes been struggling to sleep quite as well as I used to. It probably hasn’t helped that over the summer it’s been unbearably hot at times, and that my room in the flat overlooks a park with some particularly sexually active foxes (EW.), but I just haven’t been able to stay asleep the way that I used to. So I’ve come up with a few ideas to help with falling (and hopefully staying!) asleep; some will be fairly obvious, but we are all guilty of overlooking the obvious things sometimes.
1. Lavender EVERYTHING
I’ve been finding recently that besides noises, strong scents also distract me from drifting off. This is something I’ve used for a while, but I still really recommend the Sleepy range from Lush. They have a range of lavender products from bath bombs and shower gels to body lotions, that I’ve been using for forever to help me relax in the evenings. Pillow sprays are also a good option, like the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray that seems to be a firm blogger favourite.
2. Make it darker
It’s never really dark in London at the best of times due to all the light pollution, but I have the added issue of crappy curtains and a glass panel above my door that means the light from the bathroom comes streaming in every time someone gets up during the night; not ideal conditions for a good night’s rest. So I’ve recently started using a sleep mask, which has helped so much with making it feel more like nighttime, and the next step for me will be a fancy silk one from Liberty I’ve got my eye on…
In our Cardiff house, we have a constant battle with blinds in our bedroom that let in a lot of the light from the street, and we actually don’t have anything covering the windows in the back of the house as we were the first people to live in the house after it was redone, and didn’t think we’d need them there (which is fun when people come to stay…). In an ideal world, I’d love to have those wooden shutters for the windows, and that’s definitely something we’ll consider when we (hopefully, eventually!) buy a place of our own.
3. Change your pyjamas, and your sheets
Uncomfortable sleepwear and threadbare sheets are hardly conducive to great sleep, so considering updating both is probably a good place to start. A good night’s sleep is so important, so I think it’s really worth investing in some good quality pyjamas, high thread count sheets and duvet covers, and super comfortable pillows. You want your bed to be somewhere you look forward to sinking into every evening, a little cosy haven for you to curl up in, and I think being comfortable is key to this. I actually find every time I treat myself to some new jammies, I can’t wait until bedtime and I get to wear them!
4. Relax before bedtime
Light the candles, have a bath, read, make a hot chocolate, turn your screens off; there are lots of things you can do to wind down properly before you put head to pillow. Sometimes I’ll meditate or do yoga, or even just have a big stretch to release tension in all my muscles from sitting at a desk all day. I try to turn my main room light off at least an hour before bed, and even get down to just candle light half an hour or so before bedtime, and I’ve found that really helps me when I’m trying to drift off. Invest in some swanky candles or cute fairy lights to make your bedroom space feel cosier in the evenings, and you’ll be feeling sleepy in no time.
5. Remove bedroom distractions
If you’re as guilty as I am of falling asleep with my phone in my hand, it’s probably time to consider removing the temptation to scroll before bed by moving your phone out of arms reach before bedtime. Sometimes you might even need to go a step further and think about whether anything else in your sleep space could be stimulating your mind and keeping you from sleep; it could be background noise, a particularly pungent scent (mine is usually a candle on the bedside table!) or maybe even a picture on the wall that is keeping you from properly relaxing for some reason.
Next bedtime, take time to look around and see if anything really grabs and stimulates your attention. If it does, it might be worth moving it to another room – maybe even your office, if you find it gives you lots of ideas!
So there you have it, a little sleepy round-up to help you drift off! Let me know if you’ve got a great tip I haven’t thought of, or anything you’ve tried from my suggestions that worked for you.