Top tips for getting a peaceful nights sleep

Of all the things that can make you feel healthy and revitalised, including fitness, nutrition and holistic practices such as Yoga, a good night's sleep is probably the most restorative. It is also the thing I find is compromised most when life gets busy and stressful, as my mind goes into overdrive and enjoys waking me up early to ponder on all manner of issues and items to do (very helpful brain!). 

Most of the time I can sleep like a trooper and after a day at work, a session at the gym and a light dinner, I can be away and snoozing for a respectable time. However, when I've got a lot on (hello MSc project, wedding planning, family stuff, work...blah blah blah - have you nodded off yet?!) I tend to struggle and any less than 7/8 hours sleep a night consistently just will not do.
Recently I've been trying to find products and practices that help me sleep better. As well as making our bedroom comfortable and welcoming, I discovered the Neal's Yard organic beauty sleep concentrate products. Containing a bath elixir (doesn't that just sound relaxing...), a bedtime body butter and a beauty sleep concentrate facial serum, this little set has been a consistent part of my nightly routine for a month or two. The ingredients include things like lavender and frankinscence which invoke feelings of relaxation for the body, mind and skin, which has a tendency to look stressed when tired.
As well as these products, I have been using an oil diffuser which acts as a soothing night light with colour changing sensors, containing some calming aromatherapy oil. Having this little diffuser on for half an hour at bedtime has helped me to create a relaxing and conducive atmosphere for sleep. In addition to this, I have started to observe some rules that I have long known but tend to forget about sometimes. 
  • keep your bedroom cool, inviting and soothing by using muted colours
  • keep technology out of the bedroom, such as TV's, laptops and phones (although this is easier said than done and I often read on my iPad late at night and in a morning. I'm working on it!) 
  • read a proper book or non back-lit device such as a Kindle before bed, as tablets can affect your body's circadian rhythms (light / sleep cycles).
  • if you wake up with stuff on your mind, keep a pad near your bed to write them down
  • if you still can't back to sleep, perform a meditation or exercise, such as tensing your muscles and releasing them one at a time whilst deep breathing. Also repeating one word over and over again can be a way of relaxing the mind.

This post is a colaboration with Neals Yard Beverley but the views are my own.

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