Share your top tips for getting a good night's sleep with the Boots Feel Good Forum - £250 cash to be won

(200 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Jun-13 10:16:04

Now that the Boots Feel Good Forum series is over, we've packaged up what we think are the best bits - so you can listen to them in easy, short, bite size chunks.

The latest one of these is about how to get a good night's sleep. It's less than 1 min long so please do have a listen to sleep expert Professor Colin Espie's top tips.

~ Do you have any advice of your own to share on how to sleep well?
~ What do you make of Professor Colin's tips?

Everyone who listens and adds their own tips or feedback will be entered into a prize draw to win £250 cash.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw

LaTrucha Tue 04-Jun-13 19:12:22

You can make a good black out blind (that is, better than a black out roller blind and as good as commercially available stick-on ones) by buying a piece of black out material, cutting it to size, then getting some sticky backed velcro and making v shapes with it on the corners of the material and the window frame. You may have to sew it on to the material too but it really does work well, and I've tried loads.

We do the same thing every night, which I think cuts down on arguments. They know what to expect and so by and large do it.

If the children wake up in the night, though mine are very little, I find a quick cuddle and back to bed gets us all more sleep than the 'rapid return' style solutions that are often recommended.

missorinoco Tue 04-Jun-13 20:28:10

My tip is not to fall asleep downstairs if you are tired and have problems sleeping. Inevitably for me, this means I crash out in front of a tv programme, fall asleep, get up to go to bed and lie awake for the next 1-2hours because I have woken up going to bed. Go up before you reach that point.

majjsu Tue 04-Jun-13 20:52:39

Make sure you are relaxed before going to bed. If my mind is too active I try to think of fluffy white clouds, the sun, the sky, the peace and quiet... I eventually fall asleep.

OrangeFlower7 Tue 04-Jun-13 20:57:03

To relax before going to sleep do a relaxation exercise where you tense and relax each part of your body in turn, or some yoga. A good way to switch off and stop your mind going over things / worrying.

KelleStar Tue 04-Jun-13 21:47:06

What is this sleep you all talk of? A 2.5 year old and a 5 week old means sleep is elusive. I've become better at switching off, certainly feel the advice is right about that, the more I fret about going to sleep the harder it is to fall asleep.

I always did my 15 minute core pilates before bed and found it a great way to unwind and I always slept better after making the effort too.

GetKnitted Tue 04-Jun-13 22:00:54

ear plugs or just pretend that you didn't wake up yet for as long as possible

telsa Tue 04-Jun-13 22:20:18

puffed up pillows, lovely clean fragrant bedding and a good supportive bed is all I need.

busymummy3 Tue 04-Jun-13 22:45:17

Get the husbands snoring sorted out then the WHOLE HOUSE will get a good nights sleep !!!

Hopezibah Tue 04-Jun-13 23:45:45

Totally love the tip about the melatonin and recognising when it is your body's natural time to fall asleep.

My top tip would be to use a lavender pillow spray or balm as it really did have a calming, relaxing effect for me and helped me drift off to sleep more easily.

howiwonder Wed 05-Jun-13 08:46:01

i think going to bed a bit earlier helps, not waiting til youre ready to doze off in front of the telly . allows time to wind down.
also i try not to have any fluids for at least an hour before bed as if i do i always need to get up for a wee

BellaVida Wed 05-Jun-13 09:20:45

Aside from the usual dark too, good bedroom temperature, decent mattress etc etc, I find the thing which helps me get a good night's sleep most is knowing that I have everything prepared for the day ahead.

From ensuring that the kids uniforms are all laid out, school bags, games kits, or whatever any us need on any given day, I know it will be less stressful the next morning, which helps me rest.

For me, sleep is less about feeling physically tired (which I always do at bed time) but more about getting my brain to wind down as much as possible and tune out of everyday stresses.

rootypig Wed 05-Jun-13 10:55:54

Put DC to bed. Go next door. Sleep at neighbours' house.


curlycreations Wed 05-Jun-13 11:04:00

i stopped drinking caffiene in tea/coffee, and have been exercising for the first time ever--i'm sleeping till morning, something i don't ever remember doing, even as a child.

SirBoobAlot Wed 05-Jun-13 11:16:42

Valium? wink

No seriously... Turning off all screens for an hour before bed, or your mind will still be buzzing, and even if you do sleep, it won't be 'quality' sleep.

If you are laying in bed, trying to go to sleep, and it's not happening, give yourself ten minutes to try, and if that doesn't work, get up, get a glass of water / leave the room for a few minutes, then try again. The more you lay there 'wanting' to sleep, the less likely it is to happen.

Count your breathing. Breathe in to the count of three, out to the count of six. Or four / eight if it suits you better. A more effective manner of counting sheep.

Don't nap after 2pm.

Keep your bed purely for sleeping / having sex on, so you build the association of getting into bed only with sleep.

Don't drink tea or coffee (or other caffeinated drinks) in the hours building up to bed time.

Look at your evening meal. Whilst it's important to obviously feel 'full' so you're not waking up hungry, eating a meal that is heavy before bedtime is more likely to keep you awake. So eat earlier, and, where possible, change so that lunchtime is the heavier meal.

Help yourself calm down slowly towards bed time by relaxing - gradually reducing the light levels and activity levels, both physical and mental.

Try to have a bedtime routine or ritual for yourself; yoga then bath then pajamas, as an example. Again, making the association with certain actions regularly encourages your brain to switch off.

Rosehassometoes Wed 05-Jun-13 12:13:06

Stay child free!

I find an early evening jog helps me unwind and have quiet time/thinking time. I do the DC bedtimes after this but I sleep better on nights I've been jogging.

WowOoo Wed 05-Jun-13 12:23:13

Sticking to the same time of going to sleep and waking up.
Wake up at same time even if you've not slept well.

Banana and some ovaltine or Horlicks if you like milky drinks.

No distractions in your room -TVs or laptops away.

imperfectparent Wed 05-Jun-13 12:46:15

If I find I am over thinking at bedtime and can't relax. I listen to some mellow music through headphones. It acts as an instant distraction and I'm out for the count within minutes.

nutella81 Wed 05-Jun-13 14:19:46

We use a lumie light alarm, which slowly dims like a sun set. I make it pretty dark as I get into bed, then the room goes gradually pitch black. We also have the window open (even a bit in winter), so the air is fresh. I live in the countryside though, so it's nice a quiet; louder places I use ear plugs x

Purlesque Wed 05-Jun-13 14:53:09

I find no screens in the evening helps as they stimulate me, I have also taken up knitting, this helps to clear my mind and really winds me down.
I eat heavy meals earlier on as feeling full stops me from sleeping.
An Empty bladder and earplugs are a must for me too.

stealthsquiggle Wed 05-Jun-13 15:03:07

Clean sheets, a cool bedroom and having spent 10 minutes before I come to bed sorting things out for the morning and/or writing a list to empty my brain a bit work for me.

PenelopeCruiserliner Wed 05-Jun-13 15:14:18

Fresh air, exercise, having something carby to eat just before bedtime, Nytol all work for me.

manfalou Wed 05-Jun-13 15:34:17

Don't eat anything heavy before bed and drink a glass of water so you don't wake up thirsty (which is what often use to happen to me).

No Tv's in the bedroom... as my partner says the bedroom is a place for sleep or couples time only ;)

A couple of droplets of lavender oil on your pillow can help or a wheat bag infused with lavender can help too.

A comfy mattress! We swear by our memory foam topper

flamingtoaster Wed 05-Jun-13 16:21:01

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
Make the bedroom as dark as possible and listen to some relaxing music to help you switch off and fall asleep.
Make sure you are neither too hot or too cold.
Have everything prepared for the morning so you don't worry about that!

I find it difficult to get back to sleep if I waken during the night so I put relaxing music on again then to help.

whosiwhatsit Wed 05-Jun-13 17:43:45

No screens. Foam earplugs. Kalms tablets if I really am having trouble. Nothing to drink after my evening meal so I don't have to get up and go to the loo in the night. Lavender oil on my pillow. A warm bath with lavender or ylang ylang or jasmine scented bubble bath.

MakeTeaNotWar Wed 05-Jun-13 18:19:08

I didn't expect to hear anything new but actually I really like the idea of letting sleep happening to me, rather than something I must "do". Instead I need to surrender to the zzzzs. Also the idea that the family as a whole ought to respect sleep.

I'm afraid my top tip is a bit unenforceable - DH talks in his sleep and is v restless. When he turns over, it's like he is riding a bucking bronco. Yet despite this, I'm not prepared to banish him elsewhere....yet

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