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How to complete a total sleep cleanse in 10 steps
To all the tossers and turners out there – this one's for you. Despite what your parents may have told you when you were younger, no amount of sheep counting is going to undo poor sleeping habits.
We spend so much time (and money) prioritising our health, yet the importance of catching the correct amount of zzz's is often overlooked. So as we celebrate Sleep Awareness Week (August 3-9, 2020), step aside sugar fasts and new gym memberships as we introduce: the sleep cleanse.
1. Reserve your bedroom only for sleep
Since our homes have recently become our offices, gyms, favourite cafes and movie cinemas all in one, this might seem impossible.
BUT - if you can, reserve your bedroom for sleep (and romance) only. This will help to train your mind and body into associating your room with sleep only and minimise other potential distractions and negative ties. i.e. if your bedroom doubles as an office, you will correlate your bedroom with work, so it would be no surprise for work anxieties to arise just as you are wanting to switch off.
2. Minimise screen time
No screens at least 60 minutes before bedtime. None!
The blue light from your devices can slow down the rate your body produces melatonin, as when there is light, your body doesn't produce as much.
If avoiding any unwanted light in the bedroom is easier said than done, enlist the help of a sleeping mask.
bh recommends: Manicare Sleeping Mask
3. Keep a consistent bed and wake up time
This even applies to the weekends, where possible, ideally sticking to eight hours a night.
4. Follow a wind down routine
Whether this entails a cup of herbal tea, reading one chapter of your book, taking a sleep supplement or applying a sleep inducing oil to your pulse points – a bed time routine will promote the release of your natural sleep hormone melatonin.
5. Keep your sheets clean
Nothing is more inviting than crisp, clean bedsheets.
Ensure you're washing yours frequently so you as fresh as possible as you get into bed.
6. Make your bed – every single morning
As night time rolls back around, the act of peeling back your covers as you get into bed helps to trigger your body into realizing it's sleep time.
7. If you can't sleep, get up
If you're finding yourself waking up in the middle of the night, or early hours of the morning, get out of bed. Yes really - head into another room where you can either sit under a soft light and read your book until you feel tired again, or even make yourself a cup of herbal tea.
8. Make sure your room is tidy
In particular, make sure there is nothing on your bed but the sheets, blankets and pillows you will use to sleep.
A cluttered environment will encourage a cluttered mind, keep it tidy.
9. Use aromatherapy in the bedroom
Certain scents such as lavender are known to promote sleep. By creating a relaxing and calm atmosphere through essential oils, your brain will pick this up as a cue that it is time to go to sleep.
Keep this particular scent specifically for your bedroom to form a strong association.
10. Take a warm bath before bed
Or if you don't have a bath, a shower will do just fine. This simple sleep remedy helps to relax and induce a better night's sleep.
Take this to another level and apply a body moisturiser such as the LUSH Sleepy Body Lotion once you get out and dry off. The calming lavender flower will help you drift off.
bh recommends: Dr Teal’s Foaming Bath – Soothe & Sleep With Lavender
Main image credit: @bed.threads
Do you have trouble sleeping? If so, what are your best tips to beating it?