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

Firewall Wed 05-Jun-13 18:39:54

Professor Colin's tips are great. I completely agree with what he says especially the thing about not panicking! I used to live right by a cathedral so during nights where I couldn't sleep but knew I had to, all you'd hear would be the chimes of the time through the night and that would generally set in the panic where you think '1am... 1:30...2... I need to sleep... 2:30...'
Definitely didn't help!!

My tips would be to try to read a random chapter of a book (like bill Bryson where its not a novel but easy to dive in and out of) to unwind before going to sleep. Also keep all electricals (phones etc) to of reach!

MustafaCake Wed 05-Jun-13 18:40:33

No TV/computers/phones
Warm bath
Comfy bed with clean and crisp sheets
Read a book in bed
Blackout curtains or blinds

NomDeClavier Wed 05-Jun-13 19:01:26

I found the tips really ingesting.

I found knowing how I tend to sleep throughout the night was interesting and there are apps which can monitor this for you. I used to have a real problem waking in the small hours and thinking it was morning, getting ready to get up and then discovering it wasn't time to but not going back to sleep. It wasn't happening regularly enough for me to twig there was a problem though but recently having used an app I know I have a period of very light sleep around a certain time and if I wake I can feel quite comfortable going back to sleep because it isn't morning!

Also the alarms which sense your sleep patterns and wake you at the right point over a 30minute period mean I'm much more refreshed.

Lilpickle08 Wed 05-Jun-13 21:01:03

A lovely bubble bath, a warm milky drink and lavender drops on the pillow... works for me!

The panicking thing is spot on, which is why I don't sleep with an alarm clock close by as I hate to know what the time is and WILL panic if I wake at a ridiculous hour and can't get back to sleep!

Catiinthehat Wed 05-Jun-13 21:53:15

I use an app that plays ocean and raindrop sounds. I find the white noise helps me drift asleep!

I found it interesting to hear that sleep happens naturally.

mrscumberbatch Wed 05-Jun-13 22:23:59

Send the children to their grandparents or sensible friend's house.

Sleep like you've never slept before. It's the best.

LentilAsAnything Wed 05-Jun-13 22:25:38

Go to sleep when you are tired. The end.

zipzap Wed 05-Jun-13 22:33:38

I don't like going to bed when I'm wide awake - I like to be sleepy so I can get into bed, snuggle up and fall asleep.

If I really can't fall asleep then I watch something on tv that I really want to see the end of - and then usually discover that I have fallen asleep and missed the end when I wake up in the morning!

DH has one of the noise generator things and loves to go to sleep with it on - either train noise or rain noise usually. I find both of them make me really twitchy and stop me from going to sleep. It means that he tends to use them when he is tired during the day and wants a nap - he will set it for an hour say and have a good power nap and then come too when the noise stops. He also has one of the light alarms for the morning that are supposed to wake you gently by getting brighter and brighter - they work brilliantly for him and he wakes up gently over the course of half an hour to an hour. On the other hand, I wake up at the first hint of light (bizarrely I don't if it's just summer time and lighter earlier naturally) - which means that I when he uses it I lose 30-60 minutes of sleep because we need to get up at the same time - so by the time he is waking up nicely I'm feeling shattered and about to fall asleep heavily. Luckily when we moved it didn't fit on his bedside table any more so we haven't had to use it recently which is great!

Keep a notebook by your bed (or your iphone or whatever) to jot things down that occur to you during the night - so you don't have to worry about remembering them in the morning.

If you like to have a drink by your bed in case you wake up thirsty (bad habit from bf days!) then have a straw in your glass. Much easier to roll over, have a few sips from the straw and roll back to sleep again then have to come to with enough consciousness to co-ordinate holding the glass, drinking from it and putting it back down again without spilling anything.

zipzap Wed 05-Jun-13 22:38:36

Oh and get the temperature of your bedding right. Being too hot or cold can really stop you from falling asleep.

If you are cold and it's really cold in your room too, it's worth having some bed socks to put on to warm your feet up - much easier to regulate your temperature and keep warm when your feet are warm. The bed socks can be any socks - natural fibres are best, wool are warmer than cotton - but the important thing is that they are not too tight around your ankles or legs as that can cause other problems like dvt. I used to use a pair of dh's socks - his feet are bigger than mine so not as tight. However this year I splashed out and bought some soft woolly socks that are not tight at the top and they were lovely to wear in bed and feel lovely and cosy. Even if you kick them off in the night it's the being warm to go to sleep to start with that is really important and where they really make a difference!

dahville Thu 06-Jun-13 05:49:32

~ Do you have any advice of your own to share on how to sleep well?
Limit caffeine in the evening, keep your mobile out of the bedroom (or, at least, avoid looking at it), if you can't sleep try to enjoy the feeling of lying down, relaxing, and having the space to think.

~ What do you make of Professor Colin's tips?
Best one is go to bed when you start to feel sleepy; so many times we fight sleep because we have one more chore to do but that impacts our sleep patterns.

starlight36 Thu 06-Jun-13 10:01:28

The combination of a four month old and a toddler ensures I'm shattered before bedtime and have no problems getting to sleep!

Prior to children I didn't find it so easy. Like others I needed to wind down properly. I found having no tv in the bedroom and leaving my phone / blackberry in the living room was essential. Reading a good book usually helped to relax me. I also had a bag of lavender under the pillow as had heard this helped.

stephgr Fri 07-Jun-13 00:55:56

I like the Prof's tips but for me the best thing is not to go to bed until I feel able to sleep even if that means everyone else is in bed hours before me. My husband needs and can get 8 or 9 hours whereas I never manage that much sleep so there's no point in me spending hours just tossing and turning.

auchinlay Fri 07-Jun-13 12:03:44

A bit of meditation or the '3 2 1 relax' mantras from hypnotherapy seem to work well for me. For my toddler, on the other hand, I feel like I need to adapt what I'm doing to help her sleep. Bedtime routine stays the same, and works well, but when she wakes in the night I need to be flexible and judge whether she will self settle, or needs a cuddle/ hand on her side, or me to lie next to her while she falls asleep again.

angell74 Fri 07-Jun-13 14:31:03

I have a little routine that includes using my lovely Liz Earle face wash, toner and cream. It smells divine and really puts me in a more relaxed frame of mind. I then make sure I am nice and warm and try not to think of those candies!!

AUDNAY Fri 07-Jun-13 16:00:26

I think a nice relaxing bath and some quiet time before you go to bed. I like to read for about an hour, and then ready for sleep.

I think with children a bedtime routine that you follow everyday so the young one gets use to it, maybe a bath and a cuddle and story time, it depends on the age of the child really, but they should have a routine so they go to bed at a reasonable time not still running round at 10 or 11pm at night, I cant cope with that I need my beauty sleep.

soundstrue Sat 08-Jun-13 23:01:46

~ Do you have any advice of your own to share on how to sleep well?

Adopt a sleeping routine, go to bed at roughly the same time every night, you're body knows it bed time and you're already sleepy. I sleep well but on the occasion when I can't get to sleep I do a yoga type relax starting at my toes and working through my body, I never reach my head because I'm fast asleep.

~ What do you make of Professor Colin's tips?

I liked go to bed when you're tired.

BLUEBERRYHEART Sun 09-Jun-13 11:11:01

I find that having a bath before bed with a few candles, and having fresh PJ's and fresh sheets waiting is one of the best recipes for a good nights sleep for me.

Dutchoma Sun 09-Jun-13 11:15:55

When waking up in the night -as you do- think of a favourite walk you have done on a holiday.
Mine is in North Wales near the hamlet of Tygwyn (between Harlech and Portmadoc with its own railway halt) to some lakes up in the hills.
I never get much further than where you go over the river on stepping stones, through the wild garlic wood and zzz...

maxybrown Sun 09-Jun-13 17:04:44

I think sometimes we try and force ourselves to sleep, especially when needing to be up for something important or different to our normal routine.

I think no TVs in rooms helps and also giving our brain chance to unwind from all our electrical gizmos

Also to try and get any worries of our chests - I know I can lie awake for ages if I have issues I haven't talked to anyone about

CabbageLeaves Sun 09-Jun-13 20:31:07

If I have insomnia I get up and make a cup of tea...go back to bed with it and read a book and find that I drop off far quicker than if I lie there struggling to sleep.

Lavender oil also good

iwanttoscream Mon 10-Jun-13 11:36:08

I go to bed before i get to tired, depending on the kids being asleep. No caffeine drinks after 6pm, a nice cosy py's and dressing gown around an hour before i go to bed. Sort everything for the next day. Curl up in bed with a book.

THERhubarb Mon 10-Jun-13 12:47:48

A few tips:

Routine, routine, routine. Establish a good bedtime routine of at least half an hour of downtime where they are not stimulated but encouraged to relax with a bath or a period of cuddling or a story or all three.

Bedroom Focus: Try to tidy away toys from their room so that it's uncluttered. Get a blackout blind and perhaps a nightlight if they don't like the dark. Spend some time settling them in bed with maybe a story or a song before leaving them to go to sleep.

Chat Time: Many children's minds are still whizzing after a busy day of discovery so you can chat about all the things you did in a kind of summary, just to help them process the day so that their minds can relax a little better and they aren't keen to tell you all about the caterpillar they saw just as you are tucking them into bed.

Tee2072 Mon 10-Jun-13 14:13:54

After another night of being awake most of it, no matter what I do or not do before hand, my response to this is 'heck if I know.'

Except the word 'heck' is not really what I am thinking...

keely79 Mon 10-Jun-13 15:08:05

Memory foam mattress (spend as much as you can afford - it's worth it). Superking size bed to avoid feeling crowded. Dark room - black out blinds. Comfortable cotton sheets and duvet cover with high thread count linen. Sleep is precious...

CrackedNipplesSuchFun Mon 10-Jun-13 15:39:15

Reading my book in bed is a sure way to make me doze off into a blissful sleep!

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