Set sail to the Land of Nod… – Written by Emma Heapes

We all know how important it is to get a good night sleep. It lifts your mood, improves concentration during the day and altogether aids us in feeling happier and healthier.

But when your thoughts won’t stop whirling around your head, a peaceful sleep can seem as distant as the stars in the night sky…

A whole manner of reasons can mean we stop sleeping normally. It’s usually to do with stress and worrying about other things that are going on in your life. If this sounds familiar try releasing it all onto paper instead of keeping it pent up inside your head: draw or write it down in a notebook, close it, and put it out of sight. In the morning read over what you’ve written with fresh eyes. I find that revisiting something the following day can make a daunting problem seem less overwhelming – especially after sharing it with somebody so you are not dealing with it on your own.

Counting sheep are a thing of the past. Here are some suggestions and tips to help you drift off to a peaceful sleep

Set a routine

First things first, create a bedtime routine. Set a time you aim to be in bed for and start your routine 10-15 minutes beforehand so you aren’t rushing. Make sure you stick to the same order (for example: change into your PJ’s, close the curtains, brush your teeth) because this will help your brain wind down before you hit the lights.

Put the phone down!

I know we’ve all heard it from our parents a hundred times, but it’s really not a good idea to stay up into the small hours watching Netflix. Avoid looking at any gadgets for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. You may feel relaxed whilst scrolling through Instagram, but this is actually stimulating your brain as it taking on a ton of information. Instead you could listen to some calming music, read a book, or pack your school bag ready for the morning… you’ll be surprised with how much time you can free up in the evenings.

Transform your room into a sleeping sanctuary

A cluttered room means a cluttered mind, so making an effort to keep your room (marginally) clean and tidy will help. Make sure the temperature is not too hot or cold, but ensure fresh air is flowing through the room during the night so you stay cool and comfortable.

Once you’ve got these basics sorted, create a cosy atmosphere by dimming the lights: use a lamp, or (my personal favorite) fairy lights around the bed to give off a warm feel; deck your bed with cushions, cuddly toys and extra blankets to make a little nest to snuggle up in. If it’s a really cold winters night then I like to drape my PJ’s on the radiator for a while before putting them on – It’s like being wrapped up like a cheese toasty!

Words by Emma Heapes

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