Even at the best of times, most of us could stand to improve our sleeping habits. And now, after a year of lockdown, things have gotten even worse. The combination of monotonous routines, too much time indoors and the stress of an unfamiliar situation has played havoc with our bodies, making it difficult to achieve the deep, restorative sleep that we all crave.
But luckily, help is at hand. Here are our top ways to rest better and destress.
Sip a sleepy tea
Gone are the days when a hot Horlicks was the go-to bedtime drink of choice. Now, there are a vast array of ‘sleepy’ teas on the market, each designed to help you relax and nod off with ease. Choose blends with chamomile, hops, lavender or passionflower for a gentle, soothing effect, or pick a tea made with valerian root if you need something a little stronger.
Take a hot bath
Switching off and getting into relaxation mode at the end of the day can be difficult, particularly if you are still working from home. So why not take a hot bath and let your stresses melt away? For an extra boost, dissolve magnesium-rich Epsom salts into warm water, creating a soothing, spa-like experience that promotes restful sleep.
Use a weighted blanket
A relatively new innovation, these therapeutic blankets are ideal for anyone whose sleep schedule is often interrupted by issues such as insomnia and anxiety. Essentially, they work by applying pressure to the body, triggering a biological response that slows down the heart rate and regulates breathing. In this state, it is easier for the body to slip into a deep, restful sleep.
Spray your pillows
Lavender is famous for its ability to aid sleep, and it often crops up in products designed to help you relax and destress. One of the best ways, we think, to experience its effects is with a scented pillow spray. Just spritz it on your linen and whenever you lie down the soothing scent of lavender will lull you into a happy, sleepy state.
White noise machine
If all else fails, experts recommend using a white noise app or machine to fall asleep. By mimicking our bodies’ circadian rhythm, sounds such as gently lapping waves or static work to soothe the brain, making it easier to switch off at night. Ideal for those of us who struggle to quieten down our brains after a long, hard day.