Recently I’ve got into a new sleep routine which has really been helping me sleep better. I struggle with fatigue as a result of my ulcerative colitis and whilst you might think that that must mean I can fall asleep really easily – it doesn’t. Sometimes I can be absolutely knackered and still not actually able to fall asleep. It’s so infuriating because I know I need sleep, and I know I want to sleep and yet I can’t.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying some new things to help me and I have to say my sleeping has really improved!

From creating a good sleep environment to my favourite app, here are some of my tips to create a great nights sleep

Surround yourself with nice smells

One of my favourite scents is lavender and on a night, I love lighting my lavender and sea salt candle from Primark. It has such a lovely scent which is calming – just what you need for a good nights sleep. Having a room which smells good and clean is key to improving your sleep. I’ve also been using Lush’s Sleepy body lotion which is the most amazing scent. Not only is it bright purple (which is my favourite colour) it is also full of lavender. To have the best night’s sleep, I put it on my shoulders and collar bone. Not only does it really help me sleep, it’s also really moisturising which is a win win!

Have a tidy room

Also having a clear room with no clutter creates a much better environment to sleep in. I think  its because it creates a calmer environment and a tidy desk = a tidy mind and all that. Also, make sure that you have no work around your bed. Whether that be uni text books, your laptop or files; make sure they’re tidied away and you’re not looking at them. That way your mind can start switching off and you can start winding down.

Create softer lighting

Lighting is also key. I love using fairy lights to create an ambiance perfect for sleeping in. It’s another way to create that cosy, hygge feel which can help put your mind at ease and be ready for sleep. Also, harsh lights can make you feel more awake so a darker room with softer lights will make you feel more sleepy.

Turn off the tech

It’s a well known fact that the lighting on screens makes it harder to fall asleep. I try not to go on my phone or laptop for at least half an hour before I go to sleep. To do this, I’ve started reading before bed. Not only does this mean I’m reading more (which I love!) it also means that I’m not looking at a screen and I’m winding down. It’s a win win situation! As well as turning off the tech half an hour before bed, I also put my iPhone into night shift which changes the brightness and colour of the screen so it doesn’t affect you as much.

Listening to Sleep Stories

I know I’ve just said I don’t go on my phone half an hour before bed but as I’m going to sleep I do quickly look at it to turn on my Calm app and choose a sleep story. I absolutely adore the calm app for meditation but recently they’ve also added sleep stories. These are about 30 minutes each and range from stories to calming music to non fiction commentaries about different countries (one of my favourites being the travel essay of yellowstone national park). They’re super calming (as the app name may suggest) but they’re also designed to help you fall asleep as they get slow down during it. I used to love having bed time stories being read to me when I was little and I think part of the reason they really help me is because it reminds me of when I was little.

So there are some ways I’ve been improving my sleep
What are your essentials for getting a good nights sleep? 
Katie May ❤️