So we did it, we managed to survive the first official working day back of 2016. Or did we? Hands up if you looked at the clock every hour on the hour, hands up if you found yourself scrolling Instagram at 4am, while sleep eluded you... Fortunately, or unfortunately I only had a couple of days off for the Christmas break so managed to shake off my post holiday insomnia with relative ease, but judging by my timeline today others weren't so lucky. So here be my 5 top tips on how to beat insomnia and have you sleeping again in no time at all.
1. A Long Soak
|Molton Brown Ylang Ylang: €12 HERE|
If you're not a bath lover, a hot shower is just as effective. I've been relying heavily on the Molton Brown smellies as part of my nod off routine, this Ylang-Ylang body wash in particular, though anything fragranced for relaxation will be just as effective. A long soak and fresh pjs. Heaven.
2. Lavender Based Body Oil
|Waxperts Body Oil: €12.99 from DolledUp.ie HERE|
I slather this on, post soak and after my moisturiser and it gives a double whammy. Not only do I sleep easier thanks to the lavender base, but my skin sings hallelujahs come morning because the oil has upped the efficacy of my body moisturiser by a multitude. When I shared this oil on Snapchat this weekend I had a deluge of Snappers extolling its virtues too, that's not for nothing.
3. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
|This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray: €19.50 HERE|
Infused with essential oils of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Camomile to soothe the body and mind, the pillow spray is completely natural so safe for use with restless kiddies too (proven by my nephew Séamus (9)). I thought originally that it might be a placebo effect, sheer coincidence that every time I spray this, I sleep, but then I bought it for friends. It works for everyone, every time. Wouldn't it be nice to buy sleep? Well tan-spankle-ah-dah - now you can.
4. Ban the Screens from the Bedroom
Let's be realistic, you've probably pressed YES to the next episode on Netflix from a horizontal position more times than you care to admit during the break, I mean you HAD to see what happened poor Steve Avery; but there's nothing that disturbs sleep more than the lure of screens when we should be sleeping. For me it's a vicious cycle, I think I'll drift off if I scroll a little or watch one more, but it has exactly the opposite effect. No matter how relaxed you are, when your brain is taking in information, it's awake.
It took a while for me to part with my phone at bedtime, fooling myself with the 'but I need it for the alarm' excuse. Last weekend I bought a little battery alarm for €2 in Mr. Price and have made a concerted effort to leave the phone in my handbag and well away from the bedroom. The difference was almost instant. That and upon waking, instead of rolling over and scrolling notifications before checking every platform known to man, I now have a full stretch, and consider what I'll be inhaling for breakfast in the next twenty minutes. I can't tell you the difference that one little change has made.
5. The 4-7-8 Sleep Technique
Much like the pillow spray above, I was hugely skeptical about the 4-7-8 Technique until I tried it. Also like the spray above, the simple fact of the matter is This Works. The method is the brainchild of Dr Andrew Weil and uses mindfulness to not only slow your heart and lower your blood pressure but it stops your mind racing as you concentrate on your breaths. A natural tranquilizer. It might take a little getting used to at first but it's guaranteed to make you nod off in as little as 60 seconds - I KNOW! It's been a god send for me during bouts of insomnia and especially this past week.
Now that we know that disrupted sleep patterns disrupt our hormones, leading to a slow down in metabolism and increased feelings of stabbiness during the following day, it's well worth taking a little time getting our sleeping patterns back on track. Especially if we're using January as a fresh start, fitness wise and trying not to flip office tables.
Tell us, how was your first day back? Or are you home with little ones and living for schools to reopen?
Any hints or tips for nodding off that you'd care to share?
We'd LOVE to hear 'em!