Sleep and Relaxation

Some people find it really difficult to go or even to stay asleep, Even if they have had a busy, stressful day, sleep just come easily.

Getting enough sleep is vital. Without it our brains just don’t work properly. Decision making becomes difficult, it’s harder to cope and we feel exhausted.

We only need as much sleep as to prevent us from falling asleep during the day; and this varies from person to person. Some people manage on as little as five hours, whilst other people need considerably more. The average is about eight hours, four hours less than a cat!

Our sleep pattern goes in cycles of Non- REM sleep and REM sleep. These cycles repeat themselves throughout the night and are different stages.  

When we first go to bed, we relax our muscles and drift into light sleep, which is stage one. After a short time, our heart rate drops and our breathing gets shallower; this is stage two.  Stages three and four are called Deep Sleep and our breathing and our rate drop to their lowest level. After these four stages we enter REM sleep, which is usually the stage in which we dream. Our breathing and our heart rate increase, but our muscles are totally relaxed.

We are then supposed to then wake up in the morning feeling invigorated and ready for the day.

If you do find it difficult to get to sleep there are numerous ways of relaxing before bedtime, which should help you to get the sleep you need.

  • Have a warm bath and add a few drops of lavender, or other essential oils to make you feel relaxed.   

  • Try some breathing exercises: breathe in and out slowly and concentrate on your breathing, try not to think about anything at all, do this for around ten minutes and you should feel very relaxed.

  • Light some scented candles or use an aromatherapy diffusor. Have a look at the Myshowcase makeup store – they have a cool selection that will tickle your nose’s fancy I’m sure. I recommend using lavender, vanilla, chamomile or Jasmine fragrances.

  • Drink Chamomile tea, or Linden tea, as they both calm the nervous system and help relaxation.

  • Have fun with your partner. Sexual activity relaxes your body and takes your mind off other things

  • If you can, take 15 or 20 minutes during the day, just to lie down and clear your thoughts. Don’t go into a deep sleep, just relax and this should leave you less stressed for the rest of the day and more inclined to sleep at night.

Try not to use your telephone, computer or watch the television for about half an hour before you go to bed and don’t lie in bed thinking about the things that have gone wrong that day, or other worries you have.

Close your eyes and think about one good thing that happened to you, even if it was something small, like a child smiling at you, or someone making you a cup of tea. Focus on the good things and leave your worries for the daytime.

If, after half an hour you still can’t sleep get up and do something mundane, like tidy up a draw or balling socks and soon as you are sleepy get back into bed.

Get into a relaxing routine before bed and you should soon be sleeping like a baby.


  1. Deb Dorrington says

    I was always a great sleeper but the past year or so I have had bouts of insomnia. When I cannot sleep I usually just try reading and having a cup of hot milk and sometimes it does the trick. I find that taking a "power" nap in the afternoon for 10 minutes helps me get through the day.

  2. Elva Roberts says

    September 2-I often have trouble falling asleep. I am grateful for some of your suggestions . I find that exercise during the day is helpful as your body is more tired. Thank you for your tips.

Speak Your Mind