Feel Good, Live Better......

Friday, 10 August 2012


....we all need it, to rest and recuperate and nurture our minds and bodies but there are sometimes in life, like becoming a parent or dealing with stress, when getting enough sleep is hard task to achieve and quality of sleep is just as important too!

I never realised how much I valued sleep before I had a baby, infact my number one tip to first time pregnant mums is sleep as much as you can and never feel guilty about sleeping whenever your child does.

We all tend to underestimate how important sleep is for our state of mind too. We are all much better equipped to deal with difficult situations, trauma and decision making as well as many other important issues in life when we are rested. When we get enough quality sleep our anxiety levels lower, we look better, and our immune system works better - all great things to help us get on with whatever life is throwing at us, I can not stress too much how important sleep is for our well being and mental health, so how do we make sure we get some?

1. Make a plan
It may seem silly but actually planning a good bedtime routine will help you to get into good bedtime habits. For example you may decided to take a shower at 8, PJ's on after, hot drink by 9 (decaffeinated of course!), into bed and read for 15 minutes and lights out by 9.30, something similar that suits your lifestyle bearing in mind you are aiming for a reasonable bedtime.

2. Talk to friends and family
There are two points here, firstly if the rest of the people in your house are not helping to make bedtime harmonious then have a group talk with everyone who is old enough to join in, if your partner is not coming to bed until late and that is also keeping you up then have a chat about bedtime styles and see if you can meet in the middle.

Secondly ask everyone you know what they find helpful to aid them into sleep. You could send round an email or tweet/ Facebook people tips and ideas, my best sleep aid is reading for 15 minutes before bed and Badger Balm http://www.badgerbalm.com/c-31-sleep-balm.aspx - try it, works wonders for adults and children alike!

3. Work out how much sleep you actually need
The National Institute of Health states that an average adult needs 7.5-9 hours of sleep each night. We sleep in 90 minutes sleep cycles thought out the night which continues to repeat itself over and over until you wake up. These cycles have different stages to and the more time you spend in the deep sleep stage the better as this helps towards your body actually getting rest and being able repair and take care of itself.

4. Tackle those night time demons
I'm not talking nightmares although if this is a problem for you then this is something to deal with as well, talking to your GP maybe a good place to start. What else is disrupting your peaceful slumber? Outside noise, inside noise? Light, uncomfortable mattress, scratchy bed clothes? Write down all those bug bears and start to eliminate them, think creatively about solving the problem. If you are a parent and it's little people that are keeping you awake try to make an agreement with your partner about sharing the nighttime wakes and have a look at some of the various self soothing techniques you can read up on in parenting books/magazines I like Jo Frost's aka Supernanny's ideas http://www.supernanny.co.uk/  You could also ask other parents what has worked well for them.

5. Change your get up time
Another way to ensure quality sleep and that getting enough is to change the time you get up, previously I talked about us all sleeping in 90 minute sleep cycles and waking up at the end of one of these cycles will leave you feeling more refreshed and awake, rather than having a get up time half way through one, so if you can change the time you set your alarm, if you go to bed at 10pm then set your alarm for 7am, this time frame will fit in many multiples of 90 minutes, if you go to bed at 11, set your alarm for 6.30 or 8, you get the idea!

So here we have a few ideas on where you can start to makes some positive changes, if you feel that your sleep problem is more serious than just making some of the changes mentioned here it really is worth getting some proper support, talking to a professional about any issues you are having can help you to get the much need sleep you need, again your GP is a great place to start wether its a problem with discomfort or something like stress induced insomnia. If you fancy trying something different you can look in to aromatherapy, reiki or acupuncture to help.

If you want to learn more about sleep cycles and information here go to http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm

Sometime a bad nights sleep is down to a one off occurrence, if you find your self short of sleep and want to hide the evidence check out beauty whizz Mrs Jones's tips and ideas on the best beauty buys for tired eyes, she recommends some great products to try out as well as some DIY ideas! (Her blog is rather fabulous too!). http://www.keepingupwithejoneses.com/2012/08/top-tips-for-tired-eyes.html

What are your sleepy time top tips? Night, night and sweet dreams!


  1. I love badger balm, I have real trouble switching off at night time and either this or lavender oil always helps.
    Great post lovely, so true about getting plenty of sleep whilst pregnant, I wish I had rested more!

    1. We have the baby badger sleep balm for LC, it's brilliant stuff! Thanks for your help on this, look forward to some more link ups in the future! X

  2. What a great post! I have just found your blog and am you newest follower xx

    1. Hello Kat

      Thanks for your message, I am so glad you like it! You have made my day!
      X x x