Late at night (or in the early hours of the morning), sometimes I just can’t sleep. And I know I’m not alone in this! Restlessness and sleepless nights are awful and take a huge toll on your mental health. So, I’ve tried numerous remedies to help me sleep.
More often than not, a good sleepy tea will help me drift off quickly – I’ve put my personal tea recommendations below. But whether the tea doesn’t work or you just don’t like drinking herbal tea, there are other options available.
Here are my top 5 things that help me sleep.
A Quick Note About Sleepy Tea
Sleepy tea is simply an herbal remedy that contains ingredients that may help you sleep. Some ingredients, like chamomile, are proven to help reduce anxiety or stress and relax your body. Others, like lavender, have an aromatherapeutic effect which can settle your mind.
I do highly recommend giving them a try. My top recommendations are:
You can also browse numerous other sleep remedy tea reviews on the blog. Just use the Tea Review Index to find them.
5 Things That Help Me Sleep
Some of these products are branded, but there’s no reason why you can’t find an alternative that is similar (or cheaper) to help you sleep. And of course, if I’ve missed anything good off my list of things that help me sleep, please let me know in the comments!
This is the night-time version of Rescue Remedy, which is the natural flower essence that’s designed to help you sleep. To be honest, this doesn’t work one everyone. While I find it to be quite effective when combined with meditations (see below), other people I know just don’t believe it works at all.
Rescue Night contains rock rose, impatiens, clematis, star of Bethlehem, cherry plum and white chestnut. It doesn’t taste like flowers, however. It has a very sweet syrup-like flavour instead. To use it, place 4 drops of Rescue Night on your tongue. You can also mix it with sleepy tea or water, if you prefer.
If you want to give it a try, you can usually find it on Amazon (I’ve found it here) or in your nearest drugstore. Sometimes it’s on offer in Boots. Oh, and even though the bottle looks really small, it will last a long while.
Meditation or Sleep Story
I’ve tried to meditate numerous times, but I always find that my mind won’t focus. Instead, it drifts off down tangents… which is bad for meditating, but great for falling asleep.
So, when I need to listen to something to help me sleep, I pick a meditation that doesn’t have a wake-up sequence at the end. You can also find sleep-specific meditations that are designed to help you sleep. Sometimes it takes a while to find a meditation that works for you – some voices are better than others, I’ve found. This is my favourite meditation.
I also want to give a shout out to Stephen Fry’s sleep story. His voice is incredibly relaxing and also familiar. The sleep story isn’t like a meditation. You don’t have to focus, but I find the story about lavender fields in Provence to be quite captivating anyway. As the story progresses, Stephen’s voice slows, and your mind relaxes until you drift off to sleep.
This one isn’t just for women. Anyone can benefit from a nightly cleansing routine. For me, it mostly focuses on my face. I gently cleanse my skin and moisturise with slight massaging motions. I find this little bit of ‘me time’ will really help me sleep later on in the evening.
You could go for a full bath with relaxing salts and scrubs, or you can keep it simple. Maybe try some lavender hand moisturiser, or give yourself a foot massage.
Another thing you can do is put on clean bed sheets and fresh pyjamas, if you’re feeling particularly restless and unable to sleep. That fresh linen aroma is a good way to relax. Lighting a candle for a few minutes or tidying away any clutter in your bedroom can also help with that “cleansing” feeling. This also declutters your mind (in my experience) which helps you to rest easy when you get into bed.
Electric Fan or White Noise
I use this trick mostly when I wake up during the night, rather than when I can’t get to sleep in the first place. I’m quite a light sleeper, so a loud car driving past my window or the neighbours’ dog barking will instantly wake me.
When I’m trying to get back to sleep, it’s like every minute little sound is playing on a loudspeaker. So, this is where my white noise machine steps in.
Full disclosure… it’s not actually a white noise machine. I just plug in the fan we use in the summer months then bundle up under the covers so I don’t get cold. The rhythmic whirring of the fan going back and forth is like a blanket of sound that covers up all the annoying noises and helps me drift off.
If you don’t have a fan, you can buy a white noise machine, or you can find YouTube soundtrack. There are loads, from waves crashing on the shore, to rain hitting a window during a thunderstorm, to tropical rainforest noises.
Yoga with Adriene
This is usually a last resort. When you’re tired but can’t sleep, the best thing you’re supposed to do is stay in bed and read a boring book. Getting up and being active tends to have the opposite effect, stimulating your body and brain.
I only practice yoga at night when it’s to solve a problem that’s preventing me from sleeping. Like back ache, for example, or anxiety over something. In these circumstances, I find that doing yoga to solve the root of the problem helps a lot more than just trying to sleep through it.
Sure, it may keep me awake for an hour longer… but when I do get to sleep, I tend to sleep more deeply and restfully. That’s worth it, in my opinion.
You should check out Yoga with Adriene even if you’ve never done yoga before. Some of her practices can even be done in bed! If you happen to pick a practice that ends up in a blanket burrito, you’ve just hit the jackpot.