And so to bed but not to sleep? Many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep – rising stress levels, poor diet, not enough exercise, there are many factors that can affect our ability to sleep. Of course as anyone who’s had a bad night’s sleep knows, a refreshing deep sleep is vital for our well-being. We want to wake up refreshed and ready to face the day, and not fatigued and flagging. If you’re struggling to sleep well then there are a number of things you can do to help you drift off. Here are some tips from our Sleep Well Retreat team: – Switch off from stresses at least two hours before bed time: turn off all computers, phones before you go to bed and never have your phone by your bed as it can disturb sleep patterns. – Create a bedtime ritual: this tells the body it’s time to wind down. Light a candle or incense, take a bath or shower, play some relaxing music and chill out. – Incorporate lavender products to your bedtime routine. We recommend the tried-and-tested 3 step guide to the perfect night’s sleep from Neom Organics. The Tranquillity products in this guide expertly blends the raw power of 12 different essential oils (a blend of English lavender, jasmine & Brazilian rosewood) which was made with one purpose: to induce deep relaxation and calm the mind and body. Light the Tranquillity candle, take a Tranquillity bath and give your pillow a Tranquillity spritz and allow the oils to continue to work throughout the night. – The bedroom should only be for sleep: No electronic devices, TVs, laptops should be used in the bedroom. – Prepare your bedroom for sleep: Do you have the right lighting, temperature, aroma? Is your bed and pillow comfortable? – Stick to a schedule for sleeping: Go to bed the same time and get up the same time each day. We recommend trying to align yourself with the sun as much as possible, getting up at daylight and going to bed at nightfall. If you don’t fall asleep within 30mins though get up and do something relaxing to unwind, like read a book. – Do physical activity in the daytime, we recommend 30mins of aerobic activity three times a week plus a swiss ball workout. Do not do it too close to bedtime as you will feel too energised before sleep. – Write down all your worries and to do list during the day so that you can rest-assure that they are noted when you go to sleep. If you feel the to-do list creeping up on you before you sleep, have a notepad by your bed so that you can note them down when they arise. Practice meditation and yoga with yogic breathing. For then meditation we recommend either HeadSpace app or guided meditation from Deepak Chopra. Try a few different ones and see what feels best for you – Our diet can play a big role, blood glucose dips can disrupt sleep. Consider trying a snack before bedtime to see if this improves sleep; trial it for at least a week; snacks that are relatively rich in tryptophan (which can help with natural melatonin levels) as well as magnesium (a natural calming mineral) and key phytonutrients include: – Oat cake with tahini (sesame butter) or hummus – Turkey is also a very good source of tryptophan – Banana with some nuts and seeds (especially almonds which are a good magnesium source) – Kiwi fruits, including the skin/ peel are also a good source; try them in a juice or smoothie or sliced on top of oatcake / tahini / hummus. Kiwi’s are also an excellent vitamin C source. – Watch out for foods that can inhibit sleep and avoid them at least four hours before bed: – Stimulants such as caffeine can disrupt sleep; even the small amount of caffeine in green tea may be enough to over-stimulate someone who is sensitive if taken too late in the day. – Too much chocolate at night can be a problem for some people. – Eating too much so that the stomach is very full. – Alcohol If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep why not join us on our Sleep Well Retreat where our team of experts will advise you on best practice for nutrition and exercise, give you NSA adjustments, teach you meditation and relaxing yoga, and give you tips and tools to help you relax and switch off.