How can you aid restful sleep?
If you have trouble sleeping then you may need to look at your sleep hygiene.
One modern day problem is too much screen time when we should be winding down, and this can lead to insomnia.
Therefore, try to engage in hobbies that do not require a screen, such as:
Knitting or crochet
Read on to find out why these hobbies could aid restful sleep …
Knitting and crochet
These hobbies involve repetition and rhythm which helps you to relax. Some people can actually feel themselves almost falling asleep while they knit or crochet.
They also require a certain amount of concentration, such as counting stitches, or remembering the order of the stitches that combine to make the pattern. It is that which helps take your mind off things that may be troubling you.
If I crochet before I go to sleep, I often find that my mind is full of how I’m going to complete a project, instead of my usual worries.
Reading a proper book (not an ebook because of the screen) can also help you relax depending on the subject and level of drama, so choose your topic wisely.
Choosing a short story that you can start and finish before bedtime is a good idea, unless you can discipline yourself to only read until a certain time. Not being able to put a book down is obviously going to have the opposite effect to the one you’re aiming for! Although a gripping story that takes up your mind is another way of sending your worries packing.
So, poetry may be the best thing to read, with the added advantage that it has rhythm to it like knitting and crochet does.
There are plenty of colouring books to choose from now. This activity helps you sleep because it helps your brain focus as you concentrate on staying within the lines. Again, this aids restful sleep as it doesn’t give brain space for worries.
Those three hobbies above have similar qualities to meditation, in as much as they help you clear your mind and focus on the moment. So, if none of the above appeal you, then you could try some mindful meditation.
If you need help with that then try an app like Insight Timer, which can offer you guided meditation and some relaxing sounds to go with it. You choose how long you want to meditate for. Yes it does mean you are using your mobile, but you’re only listening, not looking!
Audiobooks or podcasts
Perhaps you just need a soothing voice to speak to you?
These aren’t always free, so wouldn’t be everyone’s choice. You could look for a trial offer, but don’t forget to cancel. My problem with this was falling asleep (D’OH) and not remembering where I got to in the story.
You can find free podcasts on a variety of subjects, as well as ones specifically to aid restful sleep.
I am considering making my own podcasts – let me know what you think of that idea?
How to get back to sleep if you wake up in the night
If you get off to sleep ok but wake up in the night, it can be helpful to get up instead of just laying there for hours waiting for sleep to return.
Get up and go into a different room, and then try one of the activities I have suggested for ten to fifteen minutes. Then go back to bed.
Don’t just sit up in bed and read or whatever. Part of good sleep hygiene is to train your brain that bed is for sleep. So if your bedroom is like a circus, your brain is confused about what it should be doing!
If you cannot put your phone down in the evening, then have a look at the settings on your phone to see if there’s a wind down mode.
Simple changes like changing the tint of the screen near bedtime can help you relax. Warmer tones are said to be more relaxing than cold tones. The brightness of your screen and flashing colours from games and videos keep your brain alert.
Set a timer
You can set timers for individual apps, so that those apps become unavailable until the next day once the time has been used up. You may also find a setting that puts everything to sleep (except emergency calls and notifications from contacts) after a certain time, to help you get into good habits. Search your phone for Digital Wellbeing or Screen Time settings.
Further reading : https://hanmwill.com/the-importance-of-sleep/