Sleep is essential for good physical and mental health, but it’s not always easy to get to sleep or to stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. I have to actively take measures to ensure I get a good nights sleep.
I’m not lucky enough to be one of those people who doze off the second their head hits the pillow. No matter how tired I am or how early or late I went to bed, it always takes me at least an hour or more to fall asleep. I wake up multiple times a night, and no matter what my total hours’ sleep was, I wake up feeling drained and unable to get out of bed. As much as I love sleep, it doesn’t love me back.
A lot of these things double as self-care too!
Here’s what I do to try to get a good nights sleep.
Take CBD Oil
I’ve been using CBD oil for around two years now. The first few times I took it I felt so calm, I was worried there might actually be THC in it. CBD must contain less than 0.2% THC to be legal, so no CBD oil here will get you high. It’s something you quickly build up a tolerance to so that was very short-lived. Now when I take it during the day, I don’t actually feel much calmer. Due to the fact that I’ve a tolerance to it now, I’ve had phases where I stopped buying it, but I always come back to it.
When I don’t take CBD oil, or drink a CBD infused tea before bed, I not only find it considerably harder to get out of bed in the morning, but I also don’t feel as well-rested. No matter how much sleep I get, I feel like I got none without CBD oil.
The downside is that CBD oil is still very expensive. I’ve noticed that CBD tea is usually cheaper. Although the percentage is CBD teas is usually lower, it’s worth trying them first before deciding if you want to bite the bullet and drop the money on the oil.
I take 5% but I’d recommend starting at 2%. The only thing stopping me from moving up to 10% CBD oil is the price.
Make sure to buy it from a chemist or reputed health shop; I bought a cheaper one from somewhere a bit dodgy once, which was actually supposed to be 10%, and it didn’t work at all. I think they just sold me sugary olive oil!
Use Sleepy by Lush
I adore Lush! This isn’t sponsored or endorsed, they just have so much I recommend.
Lavender is commonly recommended for treating insomnia. Lavender helps relax and soothe us into a more restful sleep, and people who use lavender oil before bed feel more energetic when they wake up.
Personally, lavender is not one of my favourite scents. No matter how many essential oils infused with lavender oil I’ve tried, I find myself turning away from that side of the pillow. What I like about Lush’s Sleepy lotion is that the smell is very mild but there’s enough lavender to work. The fact that it doubles as a moisturizer is also a bonus.
Lavender oil is toxic for cats, which is why something like Sleepy is safer for those with pets. If you have a cat, do not put lavender in a diffuser!
Listen to Sleep Music
I, unfortunately, live in an area with some pretty inconsiderate neighbours in the estate; I hear people’s dogs barking at all hours of the night and morning, people blaring music or their TV, and hosting a gathering where people decide they want to recreate X-Factor in their back garden very often. It isn’t even a student area. My direct neighbours aren’t even the problem, it’s people whose houses aren’t even attached to ours! I think that says a lot about how loud people are.
I’m very often reduced to drowning the noise out to either try get myself to fall asleep at night or get another hour or two in the morning. I’ve listened to so much sleep music or ocean sounds over the years (except ASMR, which makes me shudder) but only found one mix that actually works, which I’ll link below. My hearing is probably damaged from having blare it into my ears to block out the noise, but it helps me get back to sleep and I wake up feeling like I’ve been meditating.
Cut back on caffeine
I have no caffeine tolerance, even just one cup of coffee a day is too much for my body to handle. Fortunately, decaff is a thing.
I would recommend limiting your caffeine content to one cup of coffee a day and don’t have caffeine after 6 pm. What people don’t realize is that there’s caffeine in black tea, and although there’s not as much as coffee, if you drink a lot of tea it adds up, so perhaps switch to decaf.
Get off the phone
When I was a teenager I used to turn off my phone and read before bed. Aside from the awful period of time where I suffered from insomnia AND sleep paralysis when I was 15, I slept better back then. The older I’ve gotten, the less I read in the bed because I’m still messaging people late at night. The older I get, the harder I find it to get a good nights sleep.
I blame the fact that I can’t turn my phone off because I need the alarm.
I also use my phone to listen to sleep music. Not only is the light from the phone a bit blinding, but it’s tempting to check other apps.
Sometimes you need to just mute messenger, pull out a book, and reply to people in the morning.
It’s not just the fact that engaging in a conversation over messenger isn’t as relaxing as reading is. The blue light from common apps like Facebook and Twitter trick our brains into thinking it’s still day time!
Do you sleep well? What do you do to get a good nights sleep?