Today I am talking to you about a challenge I am taking part in. I call it a challenge because it really is going to be one for me!!
I am not going to make out I am the busiest person around or my life is so hectic and I am forever tired, we all lead busy lives in one way or another. Some of us are mentally tired, whereas some of us physically tired and some of us are both! Either way, we all should try and look after ourselves and get enough sleep.
I have been asked to take part in a sleep challenge with bed makers Warren Evans, they have listened to my daily routine, my caffeine intake and how I sleep at night.
My problem is that I think too much about family life, my household, blogging and dog training. As a Mummy to 3 children life is extremely busy but since we have been renovating our house family life, at times, can be positively chaotic!
With all these things in my head I can struggle to get to sleep at night, then come the morning all I do is hit my snooze button on my alarm! I really wish I didn’t as I always get up not feeling very refreshed.
- Once I get up I must have my first cup of tea and breakfast, I get the kids packed off to school and then come home to take the dog out, I get out for about 45mins-1 hours walk with Berkley. We work on our training and have a nice walk around.
- Then I come home and do a bit of tidying around the house, make a coffee or cuppa and then start working. I work through lunch and the afternoon, another cuppa is calling me by 2pm to prepare me for the school run though!
- I nip out and get the children from school and then usually come back and do a bit more work depending on my workload at the time. Usually another cuppa……do you think I have too much?!
- Once dinner and the kids are all finished with and tucked up in bed I sit with the laptop on my lap, watch rubbish telly and work some more (this is currently what I am doing whilst writing this!) Oh and I have a lemonade or flavoured sparkling water in the evening.
- At 10pm I take myself to bed with a decaf tea and the TV in bed. I am usually on social media (Twitter and Pinterest are so addictive!). Then I try and settle down around 11:30, but I do sometimes struggle to switch off, my mind is full of things and I keep thinking! I know I should read a book to wind down but I don’t read books, I get bored really easily reading long books!!
So I sent my daily routine to Dave Gibson, who is Warren Evans’ sleep expert and he looked at my routine and put forward a sleep plan for me to follow for one week.
NOW THIS IS THE CHALLENGE!! My 6-point plan is as follows:
Please try and stick to this plan firmly for at least 7 days/nights.
1) Exercise. Do some exercise to raise your heart rate in the day – even 5 minutes will help. Exercise in the morning is regarded as better than in the evening. Although you do the school run and you also take the dog for walk you don’t appear to do any exercise where you get your heart pumping and your heart rate rising significantly. Try running with the dog or a run/walk program whereby you run for 2 minutes then walk for 2 minutes then run for two minutes then walk for two etc. (You could chose to do 5mins/5mins etc.).
2) Omit Blue Light at Night. Blue light coming from your laptop, mobile phone and TV and it will trick your mind in thinking that it’s daytime, so the sleep hormones you need are not released. If you need to work late due then try downloading an app onto your screen that will eliminate blue light and produce a warm, red light. There are lots of apps you can download but you could try F.lux – it’s free – https://justgetflux.com/. I firmly advise cutting out all screens an hour before you go to sleep.
3) Drink Valerian or Chamomile tea not decaf tea. Although decaf tea has less caffeine in it that normal tea the caffeine is still there. Valerian tea is a herbal tea and has it has been found to help people go to sleep as it seems to act like a sedative on the brain and nervous system. And chamomile tea has no caffeine in it so will not keep you awake. Swap your last two cups of the day for herbal tea with no caffeine. Lemonade and flavoured sparkling water will contain sugar and this can also interfere with going to sleep.
4) No mobile phone in bed. Your mobile phone is not allowed in bed, do social before bed and much earlier in the evening if possible (before work preferably). If you can leave your mobile phone downstairs when you go up to bed then you won’t be tempted to look at it.
5) Meditate. Add a short meditation in the evening, every evening. Mindfulness or meditation can really help your body and mind relax and it will prepare you for sleep. You can either use it to get you to sleep or as part of your bedtime routine.
6) Write it down. If you’re taking time to go to sleep and you find your mind is whirring then write down your thoughts on to a piece of paper next to your bed – and then tell yourself to let go of them. Try the meditation again.
Now what do I think about the suggestions on how to improve my sleep?
- RUN??? I don’t do running!! Last time I ran my foot went pop and went double the size, something to do with my very flexible joints. Although I walk pretty fast and I do feel my heart rate does increase, especially when I going up a hill!!
- Valerian (never heard of it!!) or Chamomile tea? I have tried green tea and I really didn’t like it but I will give these a go…. fingers crossed they don’t taste too yucky! I do really like having my tea in bed in the evening, so it will be strange not to have it.
- Meditate, when I hear that word I do think I am going to be sitting there humming but this meditating seams ok, I can see how it would be relaxing to do just before you go to sleep.
- The blue light filter, that will be interesting to see if that helps, being on my computer so much my brain properly is on overdrive!
So I am hoping that some of these changes will help improve my sleep by helping me wake feeling more refreshed, not feeling like hitting the snooze button so much and settle me to sleep quicker at night.
I will update you in a couple of weeks’ time!
Warren Evans’ Sleep Naturally campaign aims to highlight the modern day issues we are facing when it comes to sleep and offers expert advice, helpful tips and practical tools that you can use everyday, to help you get a better night’s sleep, naturally. Check more out here! https://www.warrenevans.com/