My husband can fall asleep anywhere. I mean anywhere – on a bus, the tube, waiting for me in a dressing room – but also within seconds in his own bed. My ability to sleep, on the other hand, is a different story. I’ve always struggled with falling asleep and am an incredibly light sleeper, but in more recent years falling asleep has become a real problem.
Episodes of insomnia are common, in fact, it’s estimated that a third of us will struggle with it at some time in our lives. For me, it’s a little more deep-seated. I can lie awake for hours even though I’m so tired and then need to focus on the next day with no sleep. How about an afternoon nap, you might say? Forget it. I could never.
I believe this stems from my anxiety disorder, but there are many reasons why insomnia can occur and ways you can ease it.
You may be struggling with your sleep if you:
- Find it hard to go to sleep
- Wake up several times during the night
- Lie awake at night
- Still feel tired after waking up
- Find it hard to nap during the day even though you’re tired
- Find it difficult to concentrate during the day
A while ago, we wrote about how to break your sleep cycle with some great hints and tips. This is fabulous if you’re only struggling to wake up, but how about falling asleep in the first place?
Although I do still often struggle with falling asleep, I developed my own ‘sleep hygiene’ system which often works for me. This includes things like avoiding alcohol, not drinking any caffeine after 12pm, not eating a big meal past 8pm and doing my best to stay off my phone when I’m in bed. You can read more about sleep hygiene here. After a good night’s sleep, I feel productive and clear-headed. Sometimes though, I need a little extra help.
I use Lush Sleepy Body Lotion to give me that extra boost. It’s filled with lavender oil which has long been thought to aid sleep and now using it tells my body that it’s time to start relaxing for bed.
I say this in a few of my articles – but listening to your body truly is key. If you’re struggling with any of the symptoms above, it may be time to make some adjustments to your sleep routine. Easy changes, like turning off your phone and computer an hour before bed, meditating, going to bed at the same time each night and making sure your room is dark can all improve your odds of catching a good night’s sleep. If you’re still struggling though, it may be time to speak to your GP.