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I used to think that once I was through the funk of the newborn stage – the time of mewling babies that have nothing better to do than keep us up all night (damn their constant need to feed and stare at you wide-eyed through milky breath) – that my sleep would somewhat improve.
I imagined that once I wasn’t tending to teeny tiny appetites in the early hours, or entertaining burps and gurgles way after I should be tucked up in bed, I’d revert back to my old life of blissful nights sleeping for ten-plus hours in soft pillow heavens.
Ahahahaha. How wrong I was.
My children are now 7 and 9 and sleep still evades me on a regular basis. Yet it’s still my absolute favourite thing to do – when I can. Here are my tips on getting as much good quality sleep as possible
Get a Comfy Bed
I spent years sleeping on a slightly lumpy IKEA bed, and I can’t tell you what a difference it made to buy a more luxurious platform to lie on. You can’t beat a night in a soft and comfy nest. Try ottoman divan beds from The Sleep Station for a similarly heavenly night’s sleep.
Cool Your Beans (and your bedroom)
Sleep changed for me when I realised my body didn’t slumber as well in a warm room as a cool one. Opening the windows by night – yep, even throughout the winter! – is now a must-do, and I love the feeling of hunkering down in a warm toasty bed while the fresh air whistles around me. Try it!
Get Into a Night-time Routine
It’s not just babies who need a night-time routine to wind down in the evenings: it benefits grown-ups, too! OK, ours might not involve a bath, a massage, a bottle and an hour listening to the sounds of Classic FM (I have a friend who does this for her baby and it sounds like the most heavenly way to fall to sleep), but an otherwise useful routine will really help you off to slumber.
I like to spend a little time pottering around the house with a half hour on my skincare while a candle burns in the background. I listen to my chill-out playlist and spritz my bed with lavender (I use a lavender sleep spray, it’s divine) before reading my book for a short time. It works for me!
Put The Phone Away
The blue light given off by your phone can affect your sleep: it can interfere with your circadian rhythm (your body’s natural way of regulating sleep) and hamper your melatonin secretion.
It’s recommended to use dim red lights during the dark hours; this colour has the least power to shift circadian rhythms and suppress melatonin. If you can, and I know for us Instagram nerds this is a challenge, it’s a good idea to stop looking at bright screens for two to three hours before bed. And if you find this somewhat of an impossibility, make sure you have Apple’s own Night Shift mode enabled to allow the harmful blue light to be filtered.