Eight tips to help you fall asleep and get a great night's sleep

If you struggle to get to sleep you're not alone. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that up to two thirds of adults occasionally experience insomnia.

Does not getting enough sleep matter? In short, yes, it matters a great deal.

The effects of not sleeping

There are numerous studies that show the effects of not getting enough sleep. From an increased risk of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes, to weight gain, anxiety, and poor memory. Or put another way, the longer* and better your sleep, the better quality of life you'll have.

Try these College Green sleep tips to help get a good night's sleep:

  1. Try and maintain a regular routine by going to bed around the same time each evening, and waking at the same time. A routine sends a signal to your brain that it's time to prepare for sleep and your body will then naturally start to prepare itself for sleep.
  2. Cut out caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and alcohol at night. Caffeine can stay in your body for hours, so an early afternoon coffee could be what's keeping you awake at bedtime. Even decaffeinated coffee contains some caffeine, so alternatives such as herbal teas are a better alternative. And alcohol can make you feel drowsy it has been proven to disturb sleep. Why not try this delicious evening cocktail instead?
  3. Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light they emit can reduce levels of the hormone called melatonin which our bodies need to help us drop into deep, relaxing sleep.
  4. Dim the lights. If you have a dimmer switch turn it down, or light some candles which help to create a relaxing evening ambience.
  5. Take a warm evening bath. The rapid drop in temperature when you come out of the bath simulates the natural drop in body heat at night, signalling to your brain that it's time for sleep. Using a bath soak that contains magnesium salts such as Epsom, Himalayan or Dead Sea Salt will help lower blood pressure and relax muscles too.
  6. Sleep in a dark room, or if you can't darken it, use an eye mask.
  7. Try a breathwork exercise like Zen breath counting. They are easy to do, and help calm your mind by giving it something to concentrate on. Be gentle with yourself - if you find your mind wandering, simply start again with the exercise.
  8. Use essential oils, like lavender - it's a popular bedtime essential oil for good reason as it has relaxing and restful properties. Others with soporific properties include patchouli, neroli and chamomile. A reed diffuser or pillow spray with relaxing essential oils are lovely ways to scent a bedroom and give yourself the best chance of a peaceful sleep.

Sweet dreams...

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College Green Sleep Easy pillow and room mist with relaxing essential oils for a good night's sleep

 *The National Sleep Foundation and the World Health Organisation both recommend an average of eight hours sleep a night for adults.