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My journey to a better night's sleep

Sleep. As a topic it can be a minefield! Why do I wake up tired? How much is enough sleep? What do I do if I wake up during the night? How can I get my little one back to sleep without losing too much sleep myself? Why can’t I fall asleep like everyone else?

Many of these questions I can relate to, a lot of them I have experienced myself. Over the next few weeks, I will be taking you on my journey with sleep and where I am now, as well as hear from a number of experts looking at the data behind sleep and how we can support you to your best night’s sleep.

But first here is my story.

I used to describe myself as a Night owl. I went to bed late, and flitted between being an early riser and late riser depending on what I was doing. In my youth I definitely was not an early bird or riser unless for school, and later on, work demanded me to be. The most important part of this story is love of sleep. Never wake me if I am asleep unless you want to hear me roar!

However, all that changed when I had my son. I found the frequent waking at night extremely hard. Night times became the only time to get the extra study done, find time for myself and start my business. There is only so much a person can take without having enough hours of sleep before it starts to take a toll on the body, mind and mood!

In an effort to correct years of poor sleeping habits I tried a number of things. Sometimes I would succeed for a few days but I would always fall off the wagon.

Here are a few practices I found to be extremely helpful -

  • Setting a bedtime reminder on my phone

  • Buying new bedding

  • Building a bedtime routine

  • Not looking at my phone after 10pm

  • Setting a wake up target

  • Writing down a ‘to do list’

  • Journaling

  • Yoga or stretching in the evening

  • Self-massage

Although these practices saw me through some very trying times, slipping back to old habits was a wake up call. And just when I had the resolve to get to the bottom of my sleep issues, I got the neighbours from hell that made so much noise I couldn’t sleep. So by the time we started to ease out of lockdown 3 I knew I had to get to the root cause of my sleep issues, for the sake of my sanity and energy levels.

In my next blog I will be diving into the role of Aromatherapy in my sleep journey, my recommended oils and blends to aid sleep and the science behind sleep and mental health. As well, we will be hearing from Nutritionist Alice Godfrey on how diet affects sleep and a Child Sleep expert, on sleep tips for parents with small kids.

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