Do you struggle to get to sleep? Or do you have an older child that finds it hard to drift off? If so, this ‘How to Sleep Better Using my Amazing Sleep Hacks’ post is a great way to help you all head off into the land of nod. It’s a great way to help you relax and feel ready for sleep. Don’t forget to check out my sleep hygiene quiz to ensure you’re giving yourself the best chance of a good nights sleep too. Once you try the sleep relaxation exercise below, you may find that you want to tweak it slightly to suit you better. Or that it works even better if you add in some of the sleep relaxation tips further down too. Whatever works for you! Sleep is so very important for us all; for our health, development, brain function and well-being. So I’m on a mission to help you get plenty of it!
Sleep Relaxation Exercise
Prepare yourself for sleep with your usual nightly routine and settle yourself into bed.
Lie in your bed with your eyes closed, legs straight and arms down by your side.
Imagine you are lying on a beach. The sun is warm and you can hear the waves gently lapping close to you.
Focus on your right foot and point and stretch your toes as far as can, as if to the end of the bed. Keep stretching your right leg, as though it is longer than the other leg.
Count to five in your head.
Flex your right foot so it’s pointing up to the ceiling.
Count to five again.
Relax the right leg and allow it to melt into the bed.
Repeat the same process with the left leg and toes.
Now clench a fist in your right hand as tightly as you can.
Count to five in your head.
Allow your right hand to melt into the bed.
Repeat with your left hand.
Now focus on your breathing. There’s nothing purer than an awareness of your breath!
Breath in and out through your nose, thinking about the breath going in your left nostril and out of the right nostril.
Do this ten times.
Repeat stretching and breathing exercises until you feel relaxed and sleepy.
Amazing Sleep Hacks
Grab a power nap in the day.
Have a calming bedtime routine such a getting ready for bed, a herbal tea and a book.
Exercise in the morning.
Eat food high in tryptophan such a turkey, almonds, tofu, eggs for your last meal.
Make sure your sleeping environment is optimal; clear away clutter and no technology!
Don’t check the time when you wake up (except if you want to for your baby’s feed) as it can cause sleep anxiety. The panic of ‘argh I’ve only got 2 hours until the alarm /kids wake up’ can be more stressful when trying to return to sleep.
Some gentle yoga and meditation can help relax you for sleep.
Write any worries and to do things down the night before to help clear your mind. I love all these…
If you have a baby or toddler that you expect will wake in the night, prepare ahead and get some sleep in when they go to bed too. I know this might mean missing out on that episode of your favourite show or not getting the laundry or some admin done. But believe me, those evening hours from 7 pm until 12 am are the most restorative and crucial for deep sleep.
Plan a support system /tag team with your partner or close family and friends if sleep is becoming a real challenge in your house. Have one of you do the weekend night wakes and take it in turns on alternate nights. Perhaps for your family, it would work better to do a shift from 7 pm – 12 am then swap for 12 am – 6 am. Teamwork makes for a more harmonious family home!
A sleep tip that is so powerful yet often overlooked is actually your mindset! How often do you focus on how much sleep you’ve had (or not had!) and convince yourself that’s not enough and you’ll be exhausted? I know I’ve done that plenty. This is especially when using my Fitbit! When I see I only had 4 hours last night makes me expect myself to be tired! So I moan a bit, then just as a self-fulfiling prophecy works, I feel tired all day! So my ultimate sleep hack is to try to shift your sleep mindset. Allow yourself to focus on giving yourself the best opportunity for optimal sleep and focus on the sleep you get, not the sleep you don’t.
Lastly, whether it’s dropping off to sleep or getting back to sleep you find hard, instead of lying there getting in a tizzy, get up and have a little read, a stretch or a warming drink. This can help bring on sleep much more than waiting for it in bed. Don’t check your laptop, phone or watch TV either!
While a lack of sleep, for whatever reason, can be super stressful, especially over a prolonged period (hello parenthood!) there are definitely lots of ways to help minimise sleep anxiety to help you sleep better.
Remember, think quality over quantity so getting some good sleep between 7 pm and 12 am is a really good idea. Take a power nap during the day if you can (no more than 30 minutes otherwise you might feel groggy when you wake and ideally be awake by 3 pm).
It may help to think about getting about 7 hours of sleep a night but that doesn’t necessarily need to be in a full block of sleep. That’s why going to bed earlier (especially when you expect you might wake or be woken up in the wee hours) allows you the ‘sleep opportunity’ to get more sleep. Stressing about your lack of sleep will only add to the difficulties in sleeping!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my post ‘How to Sleep Better Using my Amazing Sleep Hacks’ and got some useful tips to implement. Don’t forget you can head over to my Instagram where I like to hang out, a lot, probably too much. See you there!
Together, let’s get sleep sorted!
P.S. In case you’re a newbie to my blog (in that case a very warm welcome!), I do always add in a couple of affiliate links with a great offer to each post that I think might be of interest to you as a parent. If you do choose to click the link and make a purchase on that really cool new item (for you or your baby!) then it’s at NO EXTRA COST to you. I receive a small commission from the retailer and that helps me with the running costs of my website, business and blog. Thanks for all your AMAZING support! xx