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Not Sleeping Well?

Ten Tips For Sleeping Better

Sleep is vital to emotional wellbeing and getting enough sleep can help people cope
better with stress and anxiety. During this time of isolation many people have reported finding it harder to get to sleep, not sleeping deeply or waking up through the night meaning they wake up tired. If this sounds like you, try these simple ideas to help you start the day feeling rested and calm.

Whilst we are unable to get our usual dose of outdoor exercise, getting into healthy indoor habits can help. Online exercise classes, dancing and skipping are good ways of increasing heart rate and letting off steam whilst stretching, Pilates or yoga early in
the evening can reduce tensions and aide relaxation for restful sleep.

2. Music.
 Turn the volume up and sing along to your favourite tunes during the day but slow it down and chill out by listening to relaxing tunes before bed. Soothing soundscapes of rainfall or ocean waves can also help calm anxious minds and encourage deep sleep.

3.Have A Bath
Light candles, stick a do not disturb sign on the door and enjoy a warm, deep, bath an hour before bedtime. For extra comfort leave a towel on a warm radiator whilst you bathe and wrap yourself in it afterwards.

4. Avoid Caffeine
If you have trouble sleeping avoid drinks with caffeine in after 4pm. Caffeine is a stimulant drug found in tea, coffee, some fizzy pop and energy drinks. Instead try herbal teas or a milky drink before bed such as hot chocolate.

5. Keep A Dream Diary
Anxiety, worry and stress can mean that you are experiencing more vivid dreams than usual. Whilst nobody really knows why we dream, many people find keeping a notebook and pen next to their bed ready to write them down, helps them go back to sleep faster. Any disturbing dreams can then be shared with a trusted adult in the morning.

6. Try Not To Argue
It can be hard to keep your cool if you feel tired and tetchy but going to bed after a blazing row is not going to help anyone sleep better. Be honest. If you feel tensions rising explain that you are tired and take time out before things escalate.

7. Clear up
It sounds odd but research shows that lots of mess and clutter can increase stress levels making it even harder to get to sleep. Tidy up earlier in the day to turn your room into an oasis of calm and serenity.

8. Natures Remedies
Try some homeopathic ideas to promote sleep. A few drops of lavender oil on the pillow, a handful of lavender heads inside the pillow case or even a lavender scented candle (blown out before you go to sleep) can all help you drop off into scented dreams. Other ideas such as dream catchers, heat packs, crystals and worry dolls all work to great effect for some people.

9. Write A Diary
End each day by writing about what’s happened in a paper or virtual diary to help make sense of these unprecedented times and clear your head. Alternatively take a photo a day to document your time in isolation, sketch what you can see from your bedroom window or video yourself as you summarise your journey back to normal life.

10. Read A Book
Turn off all your devices at least an hour before you want to go to sleep. Instead, take a book to bed and relax each night reading a few chapters. You may be surprised by how quickly you fall asleep!

Resource taken from:
Staying Well At Home, Coping With Anxiety and Stress, A Free Work Book For Young People 11-19 Year Olds.
 National Youth Agency.

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