Yes, I had a lovely holiday with sun, sand and sea…and a bit of tapas too, really can’t complain.
Not everyone around me had such wicked holidays though. There was a girl at the beach talking (rather loudly) about how badly she was sleeping since arriving in Barcelona.
After hearing her talk for half an hour (I wasn’t really eavesdropping, I was just lying on the sand with my eyes closed and her voice was just being carried to me by the wind), it was easy to understand why she was having such a hard time getting a full night’s sleep.
So, this got me thinking that not everyone knows the ABC of having a good night’s sleep. To me it’s quite obvious, but I do tend to think a lot about everything and I also cannot go without sleeping at least 8 hours or I turn into the Tasmanian Devil.
Therefore, these are the 10 basic rules to sleep peacefully and restfully:
1.- Sleep in the dark: This means no telephone, clock or wire lights: no TV in the background, no little intermittent lights from devices.
2.- Sleep in a quiet environment: Sometimes we can’t help living in a noisy place, but we must try to sleep in a room without too much noise. Annoyingly loud clocks, background TV or background radio are not conducive to a restful night.
3.- Sleep in a tidy environment: Sleeping in a room that’s cluttered and dirty has its consequences. One of them is poor or broken sleep.
4.- Don’t drink caffeine after 6pm. It takes about 3-5 hours to get the caffeine out of your system, so if you are still having a “little coffee” or “just a cup of tea” at 8 at night, don’t be surprised if your eyes are wide open at 1am. Switch to peppermint (digestive), chamomile (relaxing) or linden (sleep inducing) teas instead.
5.- Switch off the TV, laptops, Iphones and Ipads at least 1 hour before bed: these devices as indispensable as they might be, keep you wired bombing you with bad news or annoying messages before bed. Learn to disconnect at least an hour before turning in for the night. The blue light that emanates from them also represses the production of the hormone that helps you sleep, so, bad idea to be watching a movie on your tablet before bed. Bad, bad idea.
6.- Stop drinking liquids one hour before bed to avoid being woken up by the need to visit the toilet.
7.- Remove anything that might be stressful from your room, things like unpaid bills, to-do lists and pending invitations should not be lying around in the room where you sleep. Least of all by your bed side table. They’ll either send you to sleep worried or not let you sleep at all.
8.- An hour before going to bed start unwinding: This means telling your body you are slowing down and ready for sleep. You can do this by lowering the lights, moving slower, playing soothing music (at a low volume) or reading a book.
9.- Use sounds of nature to lull you to sleep: One great way to aid your body into relaxing is by listening to sounds of nature, like the sea, a river or the wind. There are loads of videos and apps available for this purpose. The following Youtube video is one of my favourites: it has a mixture of water sounds and instrumental music.
So as not to break rule number 2, switch the screen off when you play this video 🙂
10.- Meditate: Meditation is a great way to relax both mind and body, when practised daily it helps reduce stress and increases creativity.
You can use http://www.calm.com (or download the free app) which provides 2 to 20 minute meditations. This free site is great because you can choose the length of the meditation, the background music and background images, and the quality of the audio is very good (which is not always the case with some Youtube videos). I thought this site was a great find, hope you find it useful too 🙂