Bedtime prep

Even if you can’t sleep learning how to meditate for 20 minutes can give your body a chance to unwind and can be as good as two hours sleep.

Don’t have caffeine drinks after 6pm.

A little good quality dark chocolate in the evening may be good for sleep, as are bananas and turkey!  And a glass of warm milk!

Herbal teas such as Valerian, Wild Lettuce and Lavender can have a calming effect.

Avoid watching TV after 9pm.

Gentle stretching exercises including Yoga and Pilates can help to relax you.  I do face yoga before bed and tap the acupressure points on my face and head.

Have a warm bath before bed and add Magnesium flakes.

Turn off the electric blanket if you use one – at night our body temperature needs to drop; this tells the brain that it is time to sleep.

Get in the habit of Mindful Meditation before you try to sleep.

I take a slice of wholemeal bread to eat if I wake at 3am, in case it’s low blood sugar that is waking me, it seems to work for me and I soon drift back off to sleep. I also, ensure that I eat every 3 hours through the day, 3 smaller main meals and several healthy snacks, right up until bed time when I have a small round of wholemeal bread just before I prepare for bed

Have a regular bedtime and get up time.  Avoid lie-ins as they disrupt your natural rhythm.

Some people recommend that you get up rather than lie tossing and turning should you be awake for a long period – I personally never found this useful and I chose to meditate instead, but it might work for you.  Get up and do something boring and you might find yourself sleepy.