By Sofia Potente
I see you there, tossing and turning, trying to sleep. Can’t switch off the endless mind chatter. The harder you try, the harder it is to sleep.
This used to be me. So frustrated and exhausted that I ended up resorting to little pills. A band aid fix but that’s what you do sometimes when desperate for shut eye.
Nowadays, I’m out like a light as soon as my head hits the pillow – no pills needed.
I’ve worked out what was getting in my way of a decent night’s sleep and made some tweaks.
7 reasons you can’t sleep – and how to turn things around
Firstly, you’ve got kids. Banish them to a deserted island. Just kidding!! These tips apply to kids as well – so read on.
1. Your sleep routine is irregular. Some nights you’re up till midnight. The next you’re exhausted and in bed at 9pm. Your body clock is confused!
Sleepy tip: Decide on realistic sleep-wake times and stick with a routine schedule to regulate your circadian rhythms.
2. Your bedroom is buzzing. Bright lights and electronics overstimulate your melatonin.
Sleepy tip: Keep electronics out of the room. Invest in a small battery-operated alarm clock to replace your phone and digital radio clock. Ensure the room is as dark as possible with light blocking window shades.
3. Your mind can’t switch off. The zillion things you have to do, the argument you had or when the car insurance is due has your mind going around in circles.
Sleepy tip: Get it out of your head! Keep a notebook next to your bed and jot down all of your worries, ideas and thoughts before bed.
4. Too many stimulants. You’re having coffee too close to bed time. Buzzing with adrenaline is a recipe for a restless night.
Sleepy tip: Keep caffeine to before 2pm.