Do you struggle to sleep soundly at night? Let Maxine Brady, Interior Stylist and blogger at WeLoveHome run you through her tricks and tips to ease you into a restful and peaceful night.
Hello, I’m Maxine Brady. I’m an Interior Stylist for Magazines and TV shows. I’m also behind an award-winning interiors blog called WeLoveHome. Today I’m a guest blogger for Appeal Shading. For years I have struggled with sleeping. I’ve laid awake until the small hours hoping and praying that sleep might come to me. Then, after yet another night of tossing and turning, I decided enough was enough. I needed to fix my sleeping patterns once and for all. After lots of research, and a few simple tricks I now can relax at bedtimes. Here’s my top tricks on how to get from ‘Zing’ to ‘ZZZZ!’
1. Tire Yourself Out
If, like me, you have job that involves sitting at a desk most of the day then although your mind can be exhausted at home time, your body may not be properly worn out. Rather than flop out in front of the telly in the evenings, try a gentle form of exercise to relax you. Yoga is an excellent way to calm the body (and the mind) and so is Thai Chi. I love to take my dog Teddy for a gentle stroll on Brighton beach to watch the sunset. For more ideas on what activities will help your snooze try The Sleep Foundation.
- Filter Natural Light
The first thing I did when I recently re-decorated my bedroom was to tackle my windows, filtering the amount of light entering my bedroom. If you want to do the same, I recommend Varalux Variable Shading Blinds which are made up of two different fabrics that soften the light entering a room. They are wire-free blinds removing the need for hanging cords or boxed in wires which makes them very unfussy. When teamed with heavy curtains, they help aid a blissful nights’ sleep. And with ULTRA controls – which means I can adjust them at the touch of a button, I lower the blinds a good hour before I go to bed so my room is set for sleeping.
- Try A Body Scan
Lie back relax on your bed, be mindful of your body starting at the toes and slowly scan your way up your legs to your chest, fingers, arms and finally your head. As you thoughtfully feel your way through your body, let go of the sensations in your limbs and body and set them to rest. Try YouTube for videos which will guide you through this scan.
4. Cosy Up Your Bed
If you are a restless sleeper, then maybe your bed might be the cause? An old mattress that doesn’t support you can keep you up all night so invest in the best mattress you can afford. What type of mattress really depends on you find most comfortable. For example, I love a memory foam one. I then layer up my bed with a fluffy mattress topper (ikea have a good selection), lots of pillows and a feather duvet. My tip – look for duvet covers made from natural materials like silk or cotton to help your sink breathe during the night. Soak and Sleep have lots of linen sheets that will feel soft on bare skin.
5. Help Little Ones Drift Off
Children can struggle to go to the land of nod, as often their early bedtime times means it can be light outside. Try making their room as dark as possible using an ULTRA black out blind which are designed to block out all light that may escape into a room. And with ULTRA timer system, they can come down automatically at bedtimes.
6. Cut Out Noise
If you have a partner that snores, then you might want to block out that disruptive noise. I’ve always got a pair of wax ear plugs to hand that mould to the shape of your ear canal blocking out any noise. To help you go under even deeper, I’m a sucker for an eye mask. Holistic silk have stunning silk ones, from £52 filled with Lavender, an aroma that is a natural aid to sleep.
7. Reset your body clock
How you feel after a night sleep often depends on how you wake up. Rising with natural light from sunrise is so much more refreshing that a loud alarm clock. With ULTRA blinds, you can set your blinds to allow sunlight into your bedroom in the mornings (without getting out of bed). Using the built-in timer, the made-to-measure blinds can be set to automatically come down at night-time – preparing you for bed, and up again in the mornings, waking you gently with natural sunlight.
8. Soak it out
Why not end your day with a hot steamy bath to calm the body and the mind. Hot water is a natural relaxant which will wash away the day’s stresses, as well as warming the internal organs which will put you into a deeper sleep mode. Try having a bath about two hours before bedtime. Put a couple of drops of Vetiver, Chamomile, Bergamot or Sandalwood essential oils into your bath which are know for their sleep producing qualities. Or you could try turning down the lights and lighting a few candles to set you in the mood for sleep.
9. App Your Way To Sleep
When I’m having a particular stressful time, I find meditation really helps me to relax at the end of the day. I’ve got several Meditation Apps on my smart phone which I listen to before bed. My top three are HeadSpace, The Mindfulness App and Calm, or if I want something more soothing then I use Relax Melodies which plays sounds to help me drop off.
10. Banish electricals from the bedroom
I’m not sure why but banishing all electrical items from your bedroom really works. I’m talking about TVs, laptops, iPad, kindles, computers and phones. Having these devises in your room can be a constant reminder to ‘do’ rather than ‘relax’. I find the blinking lights, bleeps or notifications never allows you to full switch off. Treat your bedroom as a ‘Wi-Fi’ free zone and leave all your electronics at the door.
11. Set the perfect temperature
If your room is too hot, you won’t sleep and the same applies if your room is too cold. If your bedroom is very sunny, look at the ULTRA range of Honeycomb Energy Saver blinds which are built to provide a thermal barrier, keeping your room cool during the day and warm at night. The temperature sensor automatically lowers the blinds when the room overheats or you can set them to come down at night to keep the heat in.
With these 11 simple tips, you too can build up your sleep routine for an easy night’s sleep.