A few weeks ago, I spent the evening at The Hoxton where there was an event by This Works with guest Carly Rowena and Nick Littlehales (an elite sports sleep coach) to learn about all things sleep. Nick has a book out which goes through the tips and advice so if you’re interested in learning about it then it’s worth checking out!
It was a great event and I actually learnt some useful tips about improving my sleep, which I’ve put to good use. It was also so lovely to meet Carly, she’s so nice in real life and she also spent time afer the event chatting to people and offering some advice, such a babe!
Stop chasing those 8 hours
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve spent most of my adult life thinking that 8 hours of sleep every night was the magic number and if I couldn’t get it, I’d often convince myself I was going to be tired the next day. I knew that we slept in 90 minute cycles as I’ve tried using some app’s in the past to track my sleep etc but I thought this was just to identify the best time time to wake up. Once I started thinking about sleep in 90 minute cycles and not solid chunks of 8 hours I was able to improve my sleep quality and find it slightly easier to wake up in the morning. (I say easier as I will never be a morning person – wish I could be but I’m more of a night owl)
Counting back the cycles
So knowing that we sleep in these 90 minute cycles, It allowed me to identify an ideal time to wake up in the morning, with enough time to grab some me time before I start my day and grab enough sleep to allow me to feel well rested. Ideally they said 7.5 hours (5 cycles is enough for adults) so for a wake up time of 6.30am I need to be getting to bed around 11pm which actually works well for me. If for some reason I’m out after work or know I’m going to not hit that 11pm bed time, I either readjust my sleep time or my wake up time. I used to panic and think I had to fit in as much sleep as possible in the time I had but now I just count back from my wake up time and set myself a new sleep time. Taking the stress out of trying to get as much sleep as I could has really helped and means I don’t lye in bed thinking, ‘only 6 hours until I have to get up’.
Taking time to zone out
Although getting your sleep is important, so is taking some time to zone out throughout the day. Preferably not at work, although we’ve all been there, I try to just take some time in the morning whilst I’m getting ready for work. This means no T.V or social media (sometimes I can’t resist a quick scroll through twitter) but I mostly try to just focus on getting ready for the day. I also try to take some time out in the evening to unwind and relax.
Ditching the technology
This was one of the things I thought I would find the hardest as I’m constantly on my phone or laptop right up until I head to sleep. However as we’ve recently moved and we’re still waiting on internet, I’ve been almost forced into giving up the technology most evenings anyway. I have to say that not being behind a computer screen all evening or having social media as a temptation has helped. I instead try to write lists or read in the evenings which really helps clear my mind and let me drift off a lot easier.
This Works also gave us a little goodie bag at the end which included the popular deep sleep pillow spray, a beautiful lavender scented mist to help send you to sleep. I find these so relaxing to use and really like the one by This Works so will be purchasing this again when mine runs out. Have you tried this?