From counting to camomile, here are five tips to help you nod off…
It’s an unfortunate fact that something as simple as sleep can elude the best of us.
Whether it’s replaying work meetings in your head as soon as the light goes out, or tossing and turning all night in a restless sleep that barely counts, getting enough shut-eye can be a stressful task.
As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. And we’d argue that five heads are better than two, so we asked a handful of women to share the best sleep tip they’ve ever received.
Here’s what they said.
1. Reach for the cold tap
“When I’m getting stressed about not being able to sleep I try a technique that I once heard in relation to divers and your body’s natural reflexes.
“If you apply cold water to your face, it helps to slow down your heart rate, which makes you feel more relaxed.
“It basically makes your body think you’re submerged in water, so it automatically conserves oxygen.
“It’s why you can hold your breath for longer underwater than you can on land. But in essence, it makes you feel way more relaxed, which can help you drop off.”
2. Convert to camomile
“I always used to take a cup of warm, sugary tea to bed with me without thinking about the fact I was filling my body with caffeine right before trying to sleep.
“One weekend I was staying with my friend and she gave me a camomile tea to take to bed.
“It’s something about the scent and flavour that’s insanely relaxing and now I’m a full camomile convert, and everything from my cuppa to my pillow gets the camomile treatment.
“My latest find is This Works Deep Sleep pillow spray, which contains lavender, camomile and vetivert aka the most calming trio of scents.
“I spritz it over my pillow before light out and find it easier to catch some Zs.”
3. Listen to something boring
“I never thought I’d miss the sound of sirens and street noise until I moved out of London and learnt that when it comes to sleep, silence really is deafening.
“I tried white noise apps but found the sounds too abrasive, while listening to audiobooks was too stimulating.
“My friend recommended listening to a podcast that’s actually designed to send you to sleep by deliberately being really boring.
“It’s called Sleep With Me and the narrator stumbles through an hour or so of boring and incomprehensible stories that never fail to send me to the land of nod.”
4. Nail your bedding
“As long as it was clean and I could collapse into it at the end of a long day, I was never too picky about my actual bedding.
“My aunty, on the other hand, goes all out when it comes to hers.
“I picked her brains after spending a night in her guest room and having the best sleep of my life and she told me about the wonders of an M&S weighted blanket.
“Apparently the weighted filling creates gentle, even pressure across your body which helps create a sense of stillness and calm, which in turn helps to soothe restlessness.
“It’s great for me as I usually spend the night tossing and turning.
“Safe to say, I now have one of my very own that is my sleeping essential.”
5. Count words, not sheep
“I’ve always struggled to silence my stressful thoughts when it comes to sleeping and have been known to spend hours staring at the ceiling.
“One day I fell into an internet hole about sleeping methods and came across a technique from a scientist that involves scrambling your thoughts, which is supposed to help you drop off.
“The method involves thinking of a random word, for example ‘Dream’.
“Then, for each letter of that word you picture as many random objects beginning with it as you can before moving onto the next one.
“It works by taking your mind away from ordered thoughts (like paying your bills, that important work pitch etc.) and onto disordered nonsense, which helps your brain switch off and prepare for sleep.”