My Sleep – one of the dreams editorial team gives an account of their sleep habits

Suffering from a lack of sleep, or interrupted sleep, can cause a lot of problems in our waking lives. Whenever I’m stressed or upset, getting to sleep and staying asleep can be really difficult. There’s a few ways I’ve found of maintaining a great bedtime routine that means I get my full night’s rest.

Firstly, it’s really important to work out what’s the best time for you to go to bed and to get up. Staying up late and getting up late can work for some people, but I’ve found that I often become very tired in the afternoon if I do this.

Some people are also naturally very good at mornings, bouncing out of bed and throwing open the curtains, ready to face the day. I am not one of these people. Getting up early isn’t a problem, but I need to leave myself plenty of time to get ready, have a filling breakfast, and do some leisurely jobs before going to work. If I have to rush out of bed and straight off to a day’s labour then I can’t work efficiently. I’ll be grumpy – and everyone will know about it!

The type of sleep you get is also incredibly important. Once I’ve dropped off, I can sleep very deeply – but getting to sleep can often take me some time. It can be especially difficult if you’re worried or anxious, as the issues from the day fly round your head without being resolved. Lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and worrying is not a successful way to gently usher yourself into the Land of Nod.

A good way of getting to sleep is to have a standard bedtime routine. It works for children, and surprisingly enough it works very well for adults too! Knowing your optimum bedtime and sticking to it means you’re more likely to get work done beforehand, instead of staying up until the wee small hours to try and get it finished.

Allow yourself time to get ready for bed: I get into my pyjamas and normally get into bed at least twenty minutes before I want to get to sleep. Spending time in your bed relaxing, reading a book or listening to the radio is the best way to give your body time to unwind and encourage it to go to sleep.

A lot of people watch television or use the computer immediately before bed. The moving images and visual stimulation means that if I do this, I find it incredibly hard to ‘switch off’ before bedtime. Stay relaxed and avoid anything too emotional or fast-paced if you want to watch a film – so action films and horror movies are out!

One of the most important parts of getting to sleep soundly for me is making sure my bedroom is comfortable and inviting. Being untidy and disorganised happens to us all, but keeping the bedroom and bed tidy and immaculate can be conducive to good sleep patterns – I can stop thinking about how I need to vacuum, and instead get a well-earned night’s sleep.

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