World sleep day. Today is world sleep day and this year’s theme is ‘Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World.’
When this image was taken, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I was getting on average as little as 2 hours sleep a night. I had no idea what was going on. After only three or four nights without sleep, you can start to hallucinate and that can be a scary ride. Fast forward the clock over 2 years and I am really thankful to be sleeping well again. I think if you have been through a health scare which is connected to a lack of sleep, you will do whatever it takes to protect this moving forward. The moment I feel my sleep slipping, I know I need to make changes and I take action because I am fully aware of how bad things can get if I don’t.
Here are some of my top tips in terms of how we can protect our sleep.
Fall asleep with a positive mindset.
The quickest way to do this is by writing a list of things that you are thankful for each day. This is the last thing I do each night and it helps me to drift off feeling lighter. Even if life is really challenging, you can write the most simplist of things on this list. Perhaps you are thankful for a smile from a stranger or a new song that you heard on the radio. Just write it all down. I find that once I start writing, it is hard to stop. There is so much to be thankful for, we just need to look for it. Perhaps if you are sad about something from that day that is outwith your control, you can try and see the positives too. So for example:
I am so thankful for all those who are helping the people suffering in the world, such as the people in Ukraine.
I am so glad I was able to support my relative who is really unwell.
I am grateful that I can be there for my kids when they cry.
I am thankful that the pouring rain helped to water the plants.
A hot bath.
Whilst I am huge on cold water therapy to help boost up the mojo, I love a hot bath at night. It helps me to relax instantly and gets me in the mindset for sleeping.
Set the tone before you get into bed with lovely, relaxing pillow sprays. I got the Espa pillow mist from Santa and have just finished it. We just got some new lavender plants for the garden to add to the ones we already have. My Mum often makes her own with water and lavender, why not havea try at making your own?
Fresh air at night.
Sometimes I like to keep it simple. The other night I stuck my head out of the window for 15 minutes to watch a beautiful sunset. We all know that being out in the fresh air helps us to sleep. Try and get some at night as well as in the day.
I always sleep better when I have moved more in the day. The key is to find a form of movement that you enjoy so that you stick to it. Why not go for a walk with a podcast, audiobook or playlist to spice it up a bit. Or twerk around the kitchen
Replace the screen for a good book.
I love reading and always have a good book waiting for me by my bed. I find it much easier to drift into a sound sleep when I am off my screen for at least an hour before bed. I always try my best to avoid the news in the evening.
If you wake, don’t check the time.
I give this advice to my daughter too for when she wakes in the night. I find if I wake up, it’s best not to look at the screen. As we get into Spring, this is easier as we know that if it is still dark, it is time to shut those eyes down again. For the times I wake up and struggle to get back to sleep, I will put on a little hypnosis like this one.
Try new things.
Be open to trying new things. Last night I went along to my first sound bath meditation and floated home. I still feel super relaxed this morning. I spoke to someone recently who swears by getting a massage from home in the evening by a professional. I often bribe Hubs and the kids and always have essential oils lying around. Why not try some gentle stretching or yoga at night or different types of mediation?
Speak to your GP.
Get some professional advice if the lack of sleep is starting to bother you and impact your mood.
Look into CBT for sleep.
I recorded a really interesting podcast about this and how it has helped to change peoples lives when it comes to sleep. If you struggle with insomnia then check this out.
Be kind to yourself and talk to those around you who can help support you. You got this.
‘Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World.’
Jojo Fraser is an award-winning mental health researcher, author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate. She is a Tedx speaker and a regular contributor on BBC radio. Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental and spiritual health, making it accessible and relatable to all. She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.