*This post includes items gifted by Whittard of Chelsea.
Creating better sleep habits is something that I’m working hard to achieve in 2019. Having suffered with insomnia in the past, I know I can function with very little sleep, but that doesn’t mean I can function well. More recently, now I’m paying proper attention to my fatigue and energy levels, I’ve realised that sleep is vital for my general health and wellness. When Whittard of Chelsea sent me their wellbeing hamper recently, I knew I could put it to good use in my efforts to prioritise sleep and rest.
Research into sleep, and the issues that can arise through lack of sleep is not hard to find. Recent studies conducted by the European Society of Cardiology found that less than 6 hours a night on a regular basis can lead to an 11% increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. A lack of sleep also has links to Type 2 diabetes, a compromised immune system, cognitive issues, and depression, which gives me all the more reason to look into my own sleeping patterns, and work to improve them. My new job means I regularly need to get up at 5am to be in work by 6am, on my previous habit of going to bed at midnight, this would be so detrimental to my health.
So, with the help of Whittard and their delicious loose leaf teas, I’ve been making some nighttime changes!
1. Eating Earlier
Most people assume that the reason for eating earlier is for digestive benefits, and while I’m not refuting this, it’s just not the reason I’m trying to eat my dinner at 7.30pm instead of 9pm! I’ve been a late night eater for nearly 10 years I think, for the reason that I tend to eat a late lunch, and I’m simply not hungry until later in the evening. However, the earlier I eat, the more time I have to wind down, and prepare for bed without feeling rushed, or uncomfortably full.
2. Less Caffeine
It is no secret that I love coffee, I think I mention it on my instagram every other day! I am not someone who becomes wired on coffee, but I am conscious of the fact that I can drink up to 3 cups a day, and sometimes as late as 5pm. I am doing my best to replace some of these drinks with a non-caffeinated tea, such as Whittard’s Green Tea with Mango & Bergamot, and sticking to just one coffee in the morning.
3. Wind Down and Relax
How many of you are busying yourself with tasks right up until the moment you decide to go to sleep? Be it the washing, cleaning the kitchen from dinner, or checking my emails, I’m often actively engaging my brain right up until I get into bed. I’m changing this by ensuring that I’m relaxing and winding down in the hour or two before I decide to go to bed. Sometimes this is simply watching TV with no distractions, no laptop and no emails, or going full out with a cup of Dreamtime Tea in a long hot bubble bath.
4. Going to Bed Earlier
This might seem like an obvious one, and it is, but a little reminder doesn’t hurt. If I want to try and get 6-7 hours sleep, I know my alarm is going to go off at 5am, and I know I tend to take half an hour or so to settle and get to sleep, then getting into bed at 10.30pm simply isn’t going to work. However, if I get into bed at 9.45pm, chances are I might be asleep by 10.30pm, and then I’m much more likely to feel refreshed in the morning. It’s all about the planning.
5. No Social Media
I try and try with this one, but invariably fail most of the time, but because I’m not perfect, I’m telling you about it anyway. In an ideal world, I would put my phone away when I got in the bath, and not look at it again until the next morning. Instead I would read, take a moment to do some mindfulness colouring, or meditate, but I’m yet to become that perfect.
Had doing all this helped? Well yes, I am finding that I am getting to sleep a little quicker and the early starts aren’t absolutely killing me. I can get through the day without crashing mid-afternoon (I think good nutrition is helping that too) and I’m very much enjoying a slow wind down to bed. My favourite is a nice hot bubble bath, because that not only helps me sleep, but helps with my joint aches and pains too. It’s a win win situation!
Thanks to Whittard of Chelsea for providing me with their Wellbeing Hamper and some teas to try. All words my own.