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@Itsokay.needtotalk; SLEEP!

Sleep is the cornerstone of our mental health. If you find getting off to sleep a chore or you are waking up as tired as the night before, snuggle up and read on for our best snoozy tips!

Clear your mind!

If sleep seems to escape you or you dread going to bed, keep a notepad by your bedside to record those pesky thoughts that can niggle away and keep you awake. Jot down any brain junk as it piles up and give yourself peace of mind that you can deal with everything on the list tomorrow. Often you will find that the things that were bothering you just before you nod off don’t feel as important the next day!

Ditch or switch!

If you are a fan of an afternoon nap and you are finding that you can’t get enough rest at night, consider ditching your snooze in favour of some restful awake time. An intricate colouring book or a meditation app could give you the downtime you need while saving your all-important Zzzzs for bedtime. Alternatively, switch to a power nap, set your alarm for 20 minutes time and reap the benefits without the late-night regret!

Prep for success!

Some daily exercise can help improve sleep. You don’t have to hit the gym – a stroll in the sunshine and some fresh air will do just fine! Avoid stimulants such as caffeine around bedtime, and steer clear of blue light from your phone for an hour before bed. Or better still, pop your devices out of reach so you are not tempted to reach for them and start scrolling!

Dreamy products for a dreamy night!

We love products such as Rescue Remedy’s Night Spray, which helps take the edge off after a long day and encourages peaceful sleep. Lavender also has restful properties; try a pillow spray such as Avon Pillow Mist and surround yourself with gentle sleepy scent. A hot bath or shower before bed can help to ease the transition between day and night so wash off the day with a soothing fragrance, such as the Lush ‘Sleepy’ range.

Break the habit!

If you are out of sync and need to change your sleeping pattern, we recommend starting gently! Try going to bed and waking up just half an hour earlier each night, rather than trying to drastically overhaul an unhealthy sleeping pattern. This is much more likely to have long term success.

Enough rest gives us the chance to switch off, recover from our day, and awake refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges. But lack of sleep can leave us feeling groggy, irritable and can have a huge impact on our ability to function. Getting the balance right can not only benefit our physical health, but can improve concentration, positive decision-making and emotional wellbeing.

What are your best tips for a restful night? Let us know at @itsokay.needtotalk!

(If you have trouble sleeping or if lack of sleep is negatively impacting your life, we recommend speaking to your doctor for support)

Artwork by Karis Simms