Struggling to switch off? Here, Katie Piper shares her top 10 tips to help you sleep well...
Ditch the technology – don’t be tempted to scroll on your phone or device when you get in to bed. As well as keeping your mind active, the blue light actually blocks a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy. Instead, read a book – even if it’s just a chapter a night. It solves the ‘no technology problem’ and reading before bed is a known stress-reducer.
Light noise - if you struggle to go to sleep in silence, try listening to some relaxing white noise like rain falling or ocean sounds. There are so many options that can really help and transform bed-time. The CALM app is great for this.
Bedding – it’s all about the sheets! For me, some lovely, fresh, clean bedding really helps me sleep. Beautiful bedding is hugely important in creating a happy, safe, serene space in the bedroom.
TV choice – if I am going to watch TV before bed, I always make sure it’s something chilled and nothing too stimulating or intense. I opt for a familiar boxset, or something light and cheery rather than a serious documentary or heavy news content.
Exercise – I exercise daily for my mental health as well as my physical health. Whatever works for you … simply moving can have so many benefits. I personally love to run, walk and do weights. I always sleep better if I have exercised in the day.
Eat well – a healthy, balanced diet is so important for helping your body work at its best, and when we sleep, our bodies work to repair and renew. I try to avoid eating heavy meals too late in the evenings.
Bed and mattress – find the right one for you. A good night’s sleep might be really tough if your sleeping ‘equipment’ isn’t up to scratch. Do your research and find out whether you need something soft or firm - pocket sprung or memory foam - everyone is different. I really believe it’s worth the investment – sleeping well is so important and impacts on many other aspects of your life / wellbeing.
Mindfulness – I have found meditation so helpful for clearing my mind at the end of a busy day. Even if it’s just for 10/15 minutes - taking the time to be still and peaceful makes a huge difference to my state of mind before sleep.
Have a bubble bath – an oldie but a goodie! There really is nothing better than relaxing in a hot bath, especially on a cold winter’s night. It will help soothe your muscles and prepare your whole body for a restful night’s sleep. Add some essential oils for added bliss!
Positive affirmations – I have several of these on post-it notes around my bedroom. Just little daily reminders that I catch glimpse of when I’m getting ready for bed. I also have my book ‘A Little Bit of Faith’ on the bedside table that I have a flick through when I need an extra boost of positivity before bed or when I wake up.