How to sleep better.

Sleeping has always been difficult for me, for as long as I can remember. Since becoming a student, it has only became harder with late night parties and course work stress. In my first year of college I was suffering with insomnia which likes to make a come back in stressful times. Then you have the whole working in bar thing-not getting back home till 3 and sleeping until 12. You don't have your mum telling you it's "lights off" and just one more episode seems totally acceptable when you have a 9am lecture.
Let's face it, having a reasonable sleeping pattern in your twenties is tough job. But I might have the answer...

Sometimes it is because of netflix and sometimes it's because of life/work/uni worries but I always regret the late nights when the alarm goes off in the morning. I find myself getting grouchy and nervy more with the little amount of sleep I rely on, so I have picked up some tips and tricks to help get a decent night's sleep.

Set up the 'cosiness'. 
Remember when you use to come home to a tidy bedroom because your mother was picking up all your shit? A table light was on and the bed was made, ready for the "school night".  You don't have that anymore. So you kind of have to make it yourself. I think it's what they call 'hygee' but I call it-'fluffy socks'. Switch a table lamp on, light candles or some fairy lights for that dim lighting, clean sheets, remove the washing pile from your bed and prepare for a night of relaxation. If I'm feeling very stressed with a to-do list bouncing around my head, I suggest write a list, but I have more tips to combat stress and down days here.

Warm drinks.
I love a good cuppa tea with some cookies. But not only does my normal tea make me pee 5000 times in the night, the caffeine keeps me up and my mind refuses to settle. I opt for peppermint tea and when I dip a chocy biscuit in-it tastes like peppermint chocolate.

Before a busy uni day, I have been drinking benenox* over night recharge in blackcurrant. By adding some warm water to the mix, I can still have my warm drink but know that it will give me a helping hand in sending me off to sleep. Benenox boasts that it fights fatigue and gives you energy for the morning after. As a stressed out, sleep deprived, often hungover student...I was sceptical. "Nothing can cure me!" I'd whine, but after trying this out for two weeks, I have found myself drifting into a less disturbed sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed. It also come in lemon and ginger flavour. But that one makes me full a funny face.

Deep breaths. 
Meditate, yoga or simply just take deep breaths. Anyway you want to incorporate it into our routine will work. Inhale the good and exhale the bullshit of the day. It naturally relaxes the mind and body, just what you need to end the day on.

Listen to a podcast.
I am obsessed with podcasts. I find them so engaging and the range is just immense. When trying to get a decent night's sleep, I suggest not watching a film or scrolling through facebook. Listening to someone's voice nattering away, while sipping on benenox will put your mind at ease and you can drift off. My favourite podcasts right now are Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon and the High Low. If I do fall asleep, I just pick up where I left off the next morning as I get ready-all refreshed.

Of course, there are no miracles here. There are plenty of nights where I am still awake at 4am but I have to actively try really hard to relax and these methods have been helping me recently to help me sleep better. Even if my course work is piling up, having a better night's sleep helps me get through the to do list avoiding the sleep deprived breakdown. Nobody wants to see that.

So in amongst all the night outs, flat parties, uni stress and general adulting; a night to yourself where you actively set up a relaxing atmosphere can set you up for the rest of the week. When you find yourself overwhelmed and teary, maybe all you need is a good night's rest.

What are your tips to getting a good sleep? And what podcasts have you been listing to?

*Disclaimer: some products have been gifted but all thoughts and rants are my own.

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