Georgia Holliday Coaching

5 Tips for Better Sleep

Since reading the book 'Why We Sleep' by Matthew Walker ,910/10 recommend reading by the way) I have been obsessed with sleep and my sleep quality.

As someone living with a chronic illness (fibromyalgia) that already means I have daily symptoms of pain and fatigue, it's really important for me to take control and be responsible with my sleep so I can manage my illness.

So that means doing everything I can to get the best nights sleep possible, every night.

Here are some things that I do that are really helpful for me, and hopefully will really help you too.

1. Get off your damn phone

Ok, so I know you've probably heard this one before but if you are scrolling on your phone in bed right before you want to go to sleep, then you are not doing yourself any favours. Our phones give our something called blue light, which essentially messes with our body's ability to prepare for sleep (ie. feel sleepy) because it blocks a hormone called melatonin (which is what makes us feel sleepy).

So if you are doom scrolling at night, not only are you probably going to fall into a comparison trap but you're also creating bad sleep hygiene habits and stopping yourself from getting a good nights sleep.

What to do instead:

Aim to stay off your phone (And all digital screens - including the TV) at least 1 hour before you want to be in bed trying to get to sleep. Failing that, if you desperately need to catch up on your fave Netflix show then buy yourself some blue blocking glasses and wear those whilst using screens in the evenings.

2. Dim the lights

Light affects our circadian rhythm - that being our natural body clock. So similarly to my first tip, bright lights in the evening are not going to help you get a good nights sleep.

What to do instead:

Rather than sitting in your lounge with the overhead lights blaring on full (who even does this anyway? I'm all about those fairy lights and candles) create softer lighting that will encourage the production of that sleepy melatonin hormone to help the body start feeling tired when it's bed time.

3. Stop staying up late

I know this may sound childish and boring - who wants to go to sleep at a sensible time when you're an adult and can essentially do whatever the heck you want? - well actually, me! I have a bedtime of 9.30pm, every night of the week with the goal of being asleep by 10pm, 10.30 latest. This may sound super early for some but for me, getting enough sleep this side of midnight (rather than sleeping late the next day) feels way more nourishing and keeps my fibromyalgia symptoms under wraps the next day (mostly).

What to do instead:

I encourage you to ditch those late nights (when people tell me they stay up past midnight, a small part of me dies inside - mainly because I'm a proper Nana with bedtime). Set a time that feels realistic for you and get yourself into bed every night at that time.

4. Wakey wakey!

Wake up at the same time everyday. Yes, even weekends. I know this may sound like madness but hear me out. Studies have shown that it is actually better for us and our sleep quality if we stick to the same bedtime AND wake up time, everyday. This is because it regulates our circadian rhythm, which is an awesome thing because it supports our health massively when we get consistent, good quality sleep.

What to do instead:

Figure out how many hours sleep your body needs. It will likely be anything between 7 and 9 hours - everyone is different so it will take a little trial and error. Once you figure that out you can work out what time you need to get up to ensure you're getting the perfect amount of sleep for your body.

5. Create an oasis

When it comes to sleep our environment is really important. You've probably heard of the saying tidy space, tidy mind. Well this is what I want you to think about when it comes to your bedroom. If the environment you want to sleep in is cluttered with clothes and bags and last weeks glass of water then it's not going to create a calming energy.

What to do instead:

Tidy your bedroom and keep it a sanctuary for peace. This may be the perfect opportunity for you to redecorate or rejig the layout of your room to something that feels better for you. Maybe choose a calming colour, or softer bedsheets. You could diffuse some lavender essential oils to promote relaxation. Whatever you do try not to use this sacred space for anything other than sleep - and sex of course ;-)

I would love to know which tip you found most interesting and which you think will help you most. Share your thoughts with me on instagram or via email.

Thank you for reading and hope you have a beautiful nights rest with your new sleep hygiene knowledge.

Love Georgia x

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