A key to a good nights sleep is having a good rhythm in your day. Ensure your day is roughly divided into 3 – 8 hours of rest/ sleep, 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play – family life, children, friends other activities such a creative pursuits. Then have this checklist in mind:
1. Go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get up at the same time each day.
2. Get regular exercise.
3. Avoid any stimulants a couple of hours before you want to fall asleep. So cut down on alcohol, caffeine, non prescriptive drugs – preferably none at all if you’re after a truly good night’s sleep.
4. Make sure your bedroom is a safe and comfortable place to be - a place for sleep and play. If you are in a relationship avoid any serious discussions or fighting in the bedroom.
5. Avoid napping during the day and try to “reset” your inner clock by following the above 3 steps and the following 6 steps if they apply.
6. Turn off all technology a couple of hours before you want to sleep and don’t have any in your bedroom to avoid over stimulating yourself.
7. Check with yourself that the day is behind you and you are ready to sleep. If you find you are ruminating or stressing about something, do something about it. Try writing it down and make an agreement with yourself that you’ll attend to that issue the next day – and work out ahead of time when that will be.
8. When in bed ‘let go’ by either reading something “light” or trying some relaxation exercises.
9. Give yourself a footbath with hot water and lavender oil before bed.
10. Work out if you have any negative self beliefs about sleep eg. I’m a bad sleeper, I stopped being a good sleeper after the children were born, I’m easily disturbed at night. Try changing these negative self beliefs to more positive ones eg. I am a good sleeper, I deserve to sleep well.
If you have difficulty here you may need to get some professional help from a psychologist who can help you tailor a sleep regime that will work for you particularly if it has been going on for a long time.