How I Have Improved My Relationship With Sleep

Sleep and I have had a very on again off again relationship throughout my life. I’ve gone through periods where I sleep all the time, and periods of extreme insomnia. Over the last year though, I’ve worked hard to try and get a good sleep routine going, and to make sure I’m getting good quality sleep too.

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Invest in great quality bedding.

Good sleep is easier to come by in a great bed. We bought fancy linens for our (eyewateringly expensive) Dorma duvet and pillows, from Homesense for a more reasonable price, and I’m obsessed with our weighty throw from Made, perfect for cooler nights. Our bedsheets are so soft and the feel of them against my skin is half of what puts me to sleep.

Finding an effective evening routine.

I bang on about this a lot, but it really is the key to fixing your sleep pattern. For me, it means not eating too close to bedtime, getting a little gentle movement in (a walk round the block or a simple yoga stretch), saying goodbye to screens by 9pm and drinking a big cup of honey camomile tea in bed. Setting a routine so your body knows it’s time to wind down is crucial.

Utilising sleep aids.

I tried everything in my quest for sleep, from valerian tea (tastes like gym socks) to lavender stuffed pillows (lumpy, and never sealed properly, I kept finding little lavender heads in my bed). What I settled on was the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, a dreamy soft lavender scent to help calm the mind, two magnesium glycinate tablets before bed to help destress, and magnesium oil massaged liberally onto any aching limbs.

Getting up at the same time, no matter how much sleep I get.

Because I work flexibly, the temptation was always to hit snooze or turn my alarm off altogether when I hadn’t had enough sleep. In the long run, all that did is mess up my sleep schedule more, so as tricky as it is, I try to always get up around the same time most mornings, to help my body recognise when it’s time to sleep, and when it’s time to be awake.

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Eating more consciously.

Trying to make sure I’m not eating any processed sugar after 5pm, choosing carbohydrates like wholemeal rice or quinoa for my evening meal, drinking a pint of water with lemon first thing in the morning, and following it up with a coffee to wake me up. There are foods to wake you up and foods to wind you down, and I’m trying to pay more attention to what I’m eating when.

Are you a good sleeper?