This just happens to be one of my favourite subjects in life. I’m very good at sleep deprivation but I also love a good night's sleep and I get pretty obsessed if I’m not getting enough shut eye. Unfortunately, when I have a 'busy head' or as my mother has often said, “over tired,” I really struggle with a good night's sleep. One of my biggest problems is that my work messes with my routine. Whether it’s a 5am start, jet-lag or not enough time to relax in the evenings due to a late finish, it all disrupts my sleep and annoyingly, it seems to get worse as I get older.
So whether your routine is out of whack, you're working too hard, stressed, have children or simply a 'busy head' disrupting you, sometimes you just need a little help.
I have tried and tested pretty much every natural remedy as over-the-counter chemical remedies just leave me feeling groggy and tired the next morning. So if you’re not one of those gifted people in life who can sleep whenever and wherever (not bitter at all, Dani!), then maybe I can help.
DR STUARTS Valerian Plus Tea £2.35
This is my go-to when I get in from work late and need to relax quickly but will help anytime as a sleeping aid. My mother can’t believe how effective it is. A blend of valerian, lime flowers and hops on a traditional Victorian recipe for herb tea. The mellow and bitter flavours of the Valerian root and hops balance to make a relaxing night time drink.
BETTER YOU Magnesium Oil Goodnight 100ml Spray £12.69
This was the first magnesium remedy I tried and it really helped. Perfect if you don’t like taking tablets. Magnesium Oil Goodnight spray combines magnesium chloride with essential oils, chamomile, clary sage and bergamot. The essential oils soothe your senses while magnesium calms and relaxes your body to help aid normal restful sleep
HOLLAND & BARRETT Magnesium Tablets £9.99
This is my favourite. It will relax you, put you in a nice deep sleep, help you get back to sleep if you wake up and with the added bonus of no drowsiness in the morning.
NEAL'S YARD Organic Lavender oil £9.80
It has a soothing effect on the body and mind so will help relax you in the evening. Put a few drops in your bath or on your pillow. You can also use it with the tea, magnesium tablets and mindfulness.
The Little Book of Mindfulness £5.99
This really helps switch my head off in the evening. Mindfulness can seem a little peculiar to start with and takes practise to grasp. This little book is perfect to give you a few quick tips to help slow you down and be in the now and begin to enjoy the benefits it offers. Its method is to help you stop thinking of the past and the future and bring you firmly into the present when you're trying to relax or sleep. It works and I plan on doing a little more on this in the near future.
Other tips I highly recommend are:
Exercise but you shouldn't finish later than 8pm as you will feel invigorated and you need to give your body a chance to wind down.
Have a massage. I’ve tried and tested most of them and they all help you relax, wind down and rebalance your body. The most successful I’ve ever had was a shiatsu massage. Very happy ending.
Try the head space app on your phone. it's a form of mindfulness which has great results.
Read in bed before you sleep. Sometimes I can barely get past three pages!