Friday, 2 September 2016


My name is Martha and I am an insomniac. 

I've always had a really big issue with sleeping. I was always that child that never wanted to go to bed and the kid that woke up first at sleepovers. 

I've always struggled to switch off - even when I'm actually tired, a hundred and one things ping around my brain making the likelihood of actual sleep look mythical. However, although useful for pulling all nighters in the library (Ha!) or on Newcastle's Diamond strip, my childhood aversion to sleeping is a nightmare when I have a long, jam-packed day coming up and need to get a good nights sleep! 

A decent amount of sleep is also vital for your wellbeing. I'm an emotional wreck if I'm sleep deprived: my skin gets dull and grey, I cry at Jeremy Kyle DNA results and my driving goes from erratic to downright suicidal. Having a good night time routine, something that tells your brain it's time to turn off, can help you get a restful and quality night's sleep. 

So how do you create a night time routine? It's all about what works for you really, some people like to meditate (not a fan); others like to take a bath (far too time consuming). I personally like to keep mine simple with chamomile tea and a little sudoku puzzle.

If you're in need of a strong night time routine, here are 5 things you can incorporate for the most beautiful beauty sleep ever!

1) No screens

This is a tough one, I'll admit, but it is good for you. Just turn your phone onto do not disturb mode, shut down the computer and turn off the TV. If you can manage it keep the devices in a different room. All that stimulation (and those damn notifications) are not helping you to mentally wind down.

2) Eat dinner at a reasonable time

True story, if you eat too late you will be buzzing come bedtime or worse you'll feel too full and uncomfortable to sleep.

3) Music

A good idea is to have a sleep playlist as your brain will start associating those songs with sleeping. It may not be a good idea to use the same playlist when doing important things like driving.

4) Turn the lights down

Mimic natural daylight by either dimming your lights or switching the main light for a nice lamp.

5) Read a book/do a puzzle or some other soothing activity 

Be careful about the book you choose however - a gripping, page turning thriller will have you climbing the walls pumped full of adrenaline. Go for something lighthearted and easy to put down, alternatively find another relaxing activity - one that doesn't require too much mental gymnastics.

Bonus tip: Keep your bedroom a work free zone

This one is more of a lifestyle edit than a specific routine, but keeping all work related things out of your bedroom makes a massive difference. Don't check your emails in bed, don't study on your bed, don't write to do lists in bed or do anything else relating to your working life in bed. If you can try not to even do these activities in your bedroom. Much like the music tip above, your brain will start to associate your bed with such highly stimulating activities which will make it harder for you to get to sleep. 

What are your tips for a relaxing night time routine?  


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