We are all extremely busy, whether we are working, home making, or trying to juggle it all. Gone are the days of our mothers, when they had certain days to do their household chores, and had one designated day in which they went down the street to complete shopping and errands – WOW can you imagine only going to supermarket one day for the week??

It is little wonder in this new era of ‘Us women can do it all’, that we are finding ourselves exhausted and our minds are still racing when we lay down to get some much needed rest.  While not all of us can achieve the holy grail of eight hours sleep, here are a few hints to make the most of your shut eye, and help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start yet another busy day!!

  1. Sound Surroundings:
    These have a huge impact when you are trying to sleep, so try and set the mood.  If your room is extremely light, try darkening the windows.  Also try facing your alarm clock slightly away from your line of sight, this way the light won’t be glaring at you, and it is also not as easy to watch the clock every hour! Your room also needs to be coolish, as over- heating will not allow your body to rest and go off to sleep.
  2. Pillows & Posture:
    Make sure your pillow provides adequate support.  Your neck is meant to stay flat.  Poor posture when sleeping can be a major cause of back pain and it can also prevent you getting the rest you need.
  3. Feeding Frenzy:
    What you eat can have a major effect on being able to shut down when it’s time to sleep.  Try to eat at least a couple of hours before going to bed, and avoid stimulants such as caffeine and chocolate (don’t shoot the messenger!!)
  4. Alcohol Slumber:
    We sometimes feel a moderate amount of alcohol may be just the trick to relax and unwind, it actually does not help your body to shut down, and in fact significantly increases your chances of waking up and staying awake. There are many benefits of exercise and being able to switch off into a restful sleep is one.  Studies show people who are fit and healthy are much less likely to experience sleep problems.  However, try not to exercise too close to your bedtime as your body temperature will take too long to drop back to it’s normal level.
  5. Routine Rules:
    Is key to shutting down your mind and body when it is sleep time.  Your body learns to recognise the pattern that helps you best off to a peaceful slumber.
  6. Turn off your Technology:
    Here is a 21st century problem. We are always telling our children to limit the amount of use of electronics before sleeping!!!  Being on the computer or phone stimulates our brain and makes us more awake.  Do we really need to have the last say in a text message, or be on Facebook to see who is still awake??
  7. Read yourself to sleep:
    Keeps your mind on the text instead of wandering off to other thoughts, and can help make you sleepy.  If you are not a reader you can try counting backwards from 1000 by sevens!!  Unless you happen to be an accountant, this will make you concentrate to such an extent that your mind will eventually shut down and become tired.
  8. Stop the Head Chatter:
    If you are a habitual worry wart, as soon as I lay down to sleep, your mind launches into going over what the next day will bring. Try writing down lists of the things to do for the following day and if you can, organise these as much as you can before you go to bed.  For example, how many of us have agonised over school lunches??  Rather than worrying about hopping up half an hour earlier to prepare these of a morning, the kids will in fact survive if you have them all ready to go in the fridge the night before.
  9. Write it down:
    Last but not least, if you have any personal issues that may be interfering with you being able to get off to sleep, write them down through the day so that you are not constantly thinking about them at night. Pop them away in a draw, so that you know they are there, but you have dealt with them in the waking hours.

Do these ideas help you? Comment below and let us know how you stop your racing mind!

MARIA SMITH

FOUNDER AND COMMUNICATION EXPERT

As Founder of Career Change Happens and Find Your Calling, Maria has had years of experience in the world of Cognitive Behavioural Conditioning, and personal and professional development. Her intense passion for supporting others in making their dreams a reality has helped thousands of people clarify and move into positive futures.

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