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

(197 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

Jo123c Mon 03-Jun-13 16:43:36

A five minute 'gentle time' lying down with teddies with the lights out singing our favourite songs is great for settling down before sleeping.

FattyMcChubster Mon 03-Jun-13 16:52:49

I like the tip about how you're not making a choice to sleep, it happens to you. I often feel panicky if I can't sleep and I've an important day ahead of me. I'll try and remember that tip!

I do find making sure I've used the loo, all lights off and no sounds (tv, music etc) really helps me relax.
Strangely reading doesn't relax me at all as I'm desperate to find out what happens next in the book!
Definately setting a nice calm atmosphere helps though.

Glitterfairys Mon 03-Jun-13 16:53:24

I think having a bedtime routine is the key to a good nights sleep.
I like a nice hot Radox bath before bed where I can relax and gather my thoughts from the day , then into a freshly made bed with a warm milky drink and a good book to read ( I normally fall asleep after reading 5 pages smile)
If I follow this routine 9/10 times I will have a brilliant nights sleep .
My tip is to try not to use phones , laptops , watch television just before you go to bed as it makes your mind too active.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 03-Jun-13 17:35:55

Turn off the screens before bedtime and unwind. I know people who are playing Candycrush or on FB in the early hours saying they can't sleep. The mind needs to switch off and it can't do that if it keeps trying to crush those candies.

sharond101 Mon 03-Jun-13 22:19:52

Wind down with a relaxing routine. Write down any worries you have and put them aside to the morning as these can keep you awake through the night. Go to bed when you begin to feel tired and close your eyes. Concentrate on breathing deeply and you will soon settle into a deep sleep.

ElsieMumofOne Tue 04-Jun-13 11:02:51

I have terrible insomnia and can struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep. I've had behavioural counselling and the gem I was taught is don't expect to sleep as well as everyone else, know what is normal for you. My partner can be asleep in 2 minutes and sleep for 11 hours straight, where it can take me 40 minutes to fall asleep and I might wake up twice and be awake for the day at 5.40am. Earplugs that let babies cries in and keep snoring partners and next doors TV out are a must too!

ShatnersBassoon Tue 04-Jun-13 11:29:07

I fall asleep within a minute or two or switching the lamp off. I read until my eyes feel heavy, then just nod off very easily. I sleep soundly for about 8 hours, or longer if I'm left.

My tip is to not look at screens eg TVs, phones around bedtime and definitely not in bed. It's too stimulating I think. Switch the TV off then potter a bit before going up, put your brain into sleep mode.

Spirael Tue 04-Jun-13 12:05:06

I listened, in particular to the section about excessive dreaming which is what my original question was about.

I am now informed about why/when I dream... But I still have no idea how to stop it from happening!

As for assisting sleep, I find putting my electric blanket on for a few minutes before I get into bed to make it all snuggly warm helps me fall asleep quickly. I seem to be cold blooded, as without this I lay there shivering for ages!

My other tip, for those with an amenable DH/DW/DP, is to ask/beg/bribe them to rub some lavender oil into your shoulders. The lavender aids sleep, and the shoulder massage is very relaxing!

PinkMangoSays Tue 04-Jun-13 12:33:44

I don't know if this is particularly helpful but what works for me is to lie on my front and listen to an Audiobook which I've heard before so I don't get caught up in the story!

CheeryCherry Tue 04-Jun-13 12:35:37

I aim for a hot bubble bath each evening, time out from everyone and everything. I keep the bedroom tidy and clutterfree, bed clean and neat. The room is kept dark and quiet, I have lavender oil on the radiator and light bulbs. I always keep the bedroom cool, cannot sleep in a warm room. I do try to be in bed between 10 and 11, as I'm up at 6.30. But the more sleep the better!

wonderingagain Tue 04-Jun-13 12:36:38

Memory foam earplugs saved my sanity.

Making a list of what you are doing the next day so it doesn't prey on your mind in the early hours.

Fresh bedding for that hotel feel.

CheeryCherry Tue 04-Jun-13 12:37:46

Oh and lavender oil added to my foot cream, rubbed in just as I get into bed is lovely and relaxing too.

When I was pregnant with DD2 I used to listen to a natal hypnotherapy CD, and I'd fall asleep every time. If I ever have problems getting to sleep in the future I'd use it again. At the moment it's not getting to sleep that's the problem though, it's being woken at all hours by DD2!

CMOTDibbler Tue 04-Jun-13 12:55:27

Apart from intrusive pain, I'm lucky enough to be a good sleeper. But I travel a lot, often well out of time zone and I don't have time to have jet lag either end (and travel in economy).

I swear by having a standard visualisation that I run through when I want to go to sleep - its very vivid with lots to concentrate on, and works wonderfully to clear my mind completely.

MegBusset Tue 04-Jun-13 13:46:19

I used to suffer from insomnia on and off; not since having kids though. My tips:

- Get up at the same time in the morning - this helps set your circadian rhythms.
- Don't drink too much - red wine keeps me awake if I have too much.
- To relax, lie flat on your back and go limp, now starting from your toes imagine every bit of your body getting more relaxed.
- If you really can't sleep, get out of bed and go downstairs so you are not associating your bed with sleeplessness. Read a book for half an hour then go back to bed and try again.
- I find having sex helps too smile

MegBusset Tue 04-Jun-13 13:47:00

Not that I fall asleep during sex. That would be rude!

chebella Tue 04-Jun-13 13:48:55

If I have struggled to get to sleep - or to go back to sleep during the night - I try to make sure I squeeze in a swim the next day;20 mins even, plus maybe 15-20 changing before & after, so not more than an hour max, can make all the difference the next night. It helps to prevent the vicious cycle of insomnia & anxiety that often accompanies it by breaking the physical & mental pattern of not-sleeping & worrying (about not-sleeping! Leading to more infinitum!)

renaldo Tue 04-Jun-13 13:48:59

No screens in the bedroom- no tv , laptop, tablets.

chebella Tue 04-Jun-13 13:56:03

If I have struggled to get to sleep - or to go back to sleep during the night - I try to make sure I squeeze in a swim the next day;20 mins even, plus maybe 15-20 changing before & after, so not more than an hour max, can make all the difference the next night. It helps to prevent the vicious cycle of insomnia & anxiety that often accompanies it by breaking the physical & mental pattern of not-sleeping & worrying (about not-sleeping! Leading to more infinitum!)

PostBellumBugsy Tue 04-Jun-13 14:23:43

Being physically tired helps.
Try not to get over-tired, where you are horribly wired & it takes ages to swtich off.
Don't look at computer or phone too much before trying to go to sleep.
If your mind is very fidgety, keep a pen & paper by the bed & make a note of the thought, so that you can let go of it.
If you do find yourself awake, try not to stress but accept it & persuade yourself that you are not awake for as long as you think you.

A lovely bath with nice bath oil and a gin and tonic always sorts me out.
Nice clean bedding and cosy pyjamas are a must too.

I liked the tip about sleep being something that happens to you.

I have slept better since.....
Removing tv and laptop from bedroom.

Having a good de-clutter and keeping the bedroom tidy.

getting the best mattress you can afford or a topper, getting nice bed linen.

making a list of the things you have to do the next day.

I won't allow a tv or computer in the bedroom and sleep better if there's no phone either.
I avoid heavy meals before bedtime, but make sure I've had enough so that I won't wake hungry (a difficult balance to strike).
I try to spend a bit of time reading or watching tv to relax before going to bed - I can't sleep straight after coming in from work, no matter how late that is.
I keep a drink by the bed for just in case I get thirsty so I don't have to get up.
I have

starkadder Tue 04-Jun-13 18:23:39

Don't have children.

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.

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.

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

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.

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...

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

Ragwort Mon 10-Jun-13 16:24:28

Insist on separate bedrooms grin - I sleep so much better when one of us is the spare room !

Make sure you understand how much or how little sleep you need, what is 'normal' for one person isn't for another - since I have started going to bed around midnight, I sleep through until 6am and that is enough for me. DH goes to bed much earlier, and then complains if he doesn't sleep confused - I think esp. as you get older blush you actually need less sleep.

lynniep Mon 10-Jun-13 16:29:42

a) dont drink anything with caffeine in it
b)dont browse mumsnet on the phone/tablet whilst in the bath - read a nice book or magazine instead
c)keep it dark and quiet
d)drug the children
e)dont listen to the radio all night

I don't do any of the above other than d) which DH does and therefore neither of us get much quality sleep

EwanHoozami Mon 10-Jun-13 17:00:29

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

A tip that really works for me is to remember that I can't go to sleep unless I'm completely physically relaxed. If I'm lying awake I work out which muscles are still tense and methodically relax each one. Sometimes I find that I'm frustrated about not being able to nod off only to discover that my jaw is firmly clenched, or my head is actually raised a centimetre off the pillow.

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

The advice to develop healthy associations with sleep as a family really resonates with me. I try and make sleep a really positive concept in our home. The children's bedroom is never used in a negative way (no "go to your room!") or even for play, just for rest and relaxation. We talk about our dreams and why our brains might create those little adventures for us. After all, sleep for parents of young children is elevated to treat status so I try and emphasise it's value to my sons!

BettyandDon Mon 10-Jun-13 17:39:11

Generally to get a good nights sleep, I book into a hotel smile

My advice would be to research your house purchase/rental very well before buying. Try to ensure no noisy neighbours and nightime traffic / flights. Sleep in the dark for sure. Oh and don't have children either.

AndHarry Mon 10-Jun-13 22:30:14

I was having problems with not being able to get to sleep and having disturbing dreams so I started listening to my Relaxation and Stress Management hypnotherapy CD in bed. It's not strictly supposed to be used for sending you to sleep but it works brilliantly after a particularly busy day when I find it hard to switch off.

I liked the last tip on the broadcast about discussing the importance of sleep in the context of a relationship. I remember some very late nights when DH and I were first dating and how shattered I was. Now he respects my need for a decent night's rest (and after two babies so do I!).

IsItNearlyBedtime Tue 11-Jun-13 00:23:03

I recently read somewhere that eating one or two Kiwi fruit can help you go to sleep. I've tried it and it works a treat. That and a glass of milk and no crying children!

tgroom57 Tue 11-Jun-13 19:21:24

I like to think I have sleep down to a fine art. Top tips, 4/5 are cheap or free :

1. Warm feet, bedsocks if you think necessary. Baby will fall asleep when his feet are the same temperature as your tummy.
2. No meat after 7pm. Meat takes longer to digest.
3. Work with your sleep cycles - when(if?) you wake up with a spring in your step make a note of how many hours you slept. Mine is 4, 6 or 9 hours.
4. Sleep when baby sleeps!
5. I have a deep & dense wool mattress topper - it was expensive but worth every penny. I don't know where you can get them now. Mine has no cover just goes straight under the sheet. It is still an inch thick.

I used to imagine taking the elevator from the top of a tall building and counting off the floors going down. Find a visualisation that works for you.

Home-made rosemary tea works for me if I am struggling to fall asleep.

I like Prof Colin's suggestion to 'listen' for when your 'go to sleep' hormones start washing over you, but I'm happy to go to bed before that, too.

Clawdy Tue 11-Jun-13 20:02:21

Reading for about twenty minutes,lying down comfortably on back in warm bed....very easy to drift off,especially if it's a regular routine.

hermancakedestroyer Wed 12-Jun-13 07:58:25

I have trouble sleeping on a fairly regular basis. I think as mums we all have so much going on in our heads that it is very difficult to switch off in the evening. I think a routine in the evening is a good thing to try and a warm bath. Also a tidy bedroom can be more relaxing.
Listening to gentle music helps me off to sleep and I like the idea of fresh bed sheets every day (although pratically - it isn't going to happen due to lack of time / energy!)
Writing worries down before you sleep so that you can deal with them the following day may also help.
Good luck everyone and sweet dreams! smile

hermancakedestroyer Wed 12-Jun-13 07:59:15


hermancakedestroyer Wed 12-Jun-13 08:04:10

Have just re-read task and have listened to Prof Colin's advice.
I agree with his having a positive sleep attitude in the household. My DH has trouble sleeping every night and he walks around each day after work saying 'well i'm not going to be able to sleep tonight'. Personally I don't think this is sending his body the right message!

FairPhyllis Wed 12-Jun-13 09:21:28

I like the thing about not panicking. I think I sometimes get very stressed out thinking 'I HAVE to fall asleep, NOW', if I know I have a lot on the next day.

One thing I have found that helps establish a good routine is a sleep calculator app (SCIENCE!) that works out roughly how long your sleep cycles are and lets you know what time you should set your alarm for. I find it helps you wake up more easily and feel less groggy even if you have had slightly less sleep than you normally get. Then you have a better day and can tire yourself out properly in order to go to sleep normally.

I know a lot of people now use their mobile phones as alarms - I don't know if that is a good trend because it means you have more electronic stuff in the bedroom and have to look at a bright screen to set it just before you go to bed. I personally think having an old fashioned alarm might be better.

jinglejanglebangles Wed 12-Jun-13 10:06:59

Here are my tios:

1. Don't eat after 7pm
2. Have a warm milky drink - I usually go for cocoa, hot chocolate or Ovaltine
3. I dim the lights in my bedroom and read for a few minutes or listen to a relaxation CD.
4. I have heard aromatherapy oil (a few drops on your pillow) helps but I haven't tried this yet
5. Try and clear your mind of random thoughts (such as shopping lists, what the kids are having for lunch/dinner etc)
6. Kick your snoring other half in the ribs

Hopefully this will help you drop off.

rachaellewis Wed 12-Jun-13 22:12:52

Routine is the key in our household. Bath, supper, bottle of milk or booby milk then in bed for a story with teddy and dummy.
All of these things my babies associate with night time and get ready for the idea of sleep. Like Colin said in the clip I listened too, I do not force it or panic when the babies do not seem ready for sleep, I let them wind down and run off a little steam if needed, but keeping them upstairs with no TV or lights on and they will soon settle them selves.
If I am tired too I will go to sleep at the same time as the babies and just get up an hour earlier to do any house work or business admin not completed the night before, otherwise I wake my self up again and stay up too late.

youaintallthat Thu 13-Jun-13 12:05:31

My tip is to listen to relaxing music and focus on counting. I often can't sleep as I'm worried about various things so when I count in my head it stops me obsessing about other things and helps me get to sleep.....alternatively having a tiny baby helps all I want to do is sleep

Magnesium supplements helped me a great deal. Being deficient in magnesium can cause poor quality sleep as well as muscle pain. Taking regular magnesium supps in the evening has solved both issues for me.

NowWhatIsit Thu 13-Jun-13 20:18:57

physical exercise in fresh air every day so your body is tired too

VeganCow Fri 14-Jun-13 11:14:37

I find doing a word search in bed just before lights out, really helps me sleep. I think it helps to focus and clear your mind of everything else which leaves you more relaxed. Really works!
Also a 'night time' herbal tea relaxes - Waitrose do a good one for 99p.

suseb99 Fri 14-Jun-13 11:15:46

I try not to drink coffee after 3pm,

BeCool Fri 14-Jun-13 11:16:01

Only co-sleep with one DC at a time!
If you allow 2 DC into your bed at the same time (or if one sneaks in in the night), you will not get a good nights sleep.

I always sleep with the window open too - fresh air is fantastic for a good nights sleep.

AnneEyhtMeyer Fri 14-Jun-13 11:18:38

I no longer worry about getting to sleep after someone told me that lying there with my eyes closed is almost as good enough rest as sleep. This makes me relax, not panic, and of course I fall straight to sleep.

I have also "trained" myself to be able to take naps and to go back to sleep after waking, neither of which I could do before I had DD. By training myself to do it I now manage much more sleep.

Dededum Fri 14-Jun-13 11:19:14

I am an awful sleeper, always have been. I blame it on my misspent youth when I was up partying all night.

I find the best thing is not too worry about it too much, if I get all stressed by it that makes it worse. Yoga helps in that the sleep I do get is better, not sure it helps me get to sleep any better.

shaktar Fri 14-Jun-13 11:19:38

I am a terrible smart phone/tablet addict and have found limiting using we before bedtime really helps - also not immediately diving for the phone to mumsnet when sleep doesn't come easily!

Does "don't have children" count as a tip?

I find making my bed and bedroom a really pleasant place to be is the best thing. Keep it tidy, pretty (clean) bed linen, fluffy pillows and windows wide open so it's nice and cool.

Of course the most essential element for a good night's sleep in my life is a super king size bed, especially with a fidgety husband, two snuggly cats and a wriggly toddler who occasionally appears in there too. When bed sharing with 4 males you need as much room as you can get!

BornToFolk Fri 14-Jun-13 11:21:08

I usually take a cup of herbal tea to bed with me. It's especially nice in the winter as it warms you up nicely in bed. I choose something nice and soothing, like camomile and honey, or a special sleep blend.

I try not think about anything that stresses me out when I go to bed. I quite often think about my knitting - plan what I'm going to make next etc. It's just a pleasant and non-stressful thing to think about at the end of the day, that leaves me nice and calm for sleep.

IWouldIfICouldButICant Fri 14-Jun-13 11:21:43

Don't have kids, don't allow your neighbours to rent out their house to a bunch of students, don't allow the local villains to commit crimes at 3am resulting in wailing police sirens...I make heavy use of ear plugs.

Apart from that...fresh air is a must. I have a wildly expensive but incredibly comfortable memory foam mattress which is amazing. I have a relaxation app on my phone which is useful when my mind is racing. I have also been trying to read Anna Karenina for the best part of five years now - if I can't sleep, I find a couple of paragraphs of that usually do the job. I will be about 96 by the time I finish it.

sa4ah2013 Fri 14-Jun-13 11:22:11

A nice long hot soak with anything from Lush smile. Relaxing music and candles in the background. Also chocolate before a bath is a nice treat and helps me relax :D.

BoudiccaW Fri 14-Jun-13 11:23:15

Turn phone off - it will turn back on with if you use if for an alarm.
I do listen to podcasts as I'm drifting off too - I tend to have the volume quite low and nod off the moment I can't be bothered to listen anymore.

2 Kiwi fruit about an hour before bedtime

Nora2012 Fri 14-Jun-13 11:24:15

Stop playing with phones or social networking a little while before bedtime has certainly had a positive impact in our house. I'm quite a good sleeper but my husband easily has disrupted sleep patterns but this has seemed to improve his quality of sleep. All that said, our DD hasn't slept for longer that 3 hours consecutively for over six months now so I've forgotten what a good nights sleep is like. For her we've tried the "chill time" before bed, a structured routine which consists of bath, book and milk this sends her off no problem but only for a few hours unfortunately. But they grow out of it, right?

Substandard Fri 14-Jun-13 11:25:29

Two tips and it has taken me all my adult life to work them out.

Be physically tired. If I drive to work, work hard at a desk all day, watch telly when I come in because I am so knackered, my brain might be tired out but my body almost certainly isn't. It is why I sleep better on holiday and at weekends because I am more active then.

If I can't sleep after an hour, get up - even if it is just for 10 mins. Leaving the bedroom seems to reset subconscious (or something!) and it is much easier to get to sleep when I go back to bed. Better than lying there tossing and turning, watching the clock go round.

weenwee Fri 14-Jun-13 11:25:49

Don't be afraid of the old wives tales! Camomile tea before bed, and a potted lavender plant in the bedroom can do wonders!

Makeminealarge Fri 14-Jun-13 11:26:32

I agree that sleep is a natural process that will happen of its own accord. Everyone's sleep patterns vary so much. Waiting to fall asleep will just prevent it from happening- too true!

I find that decluttering helps; a tidy room, tidy mind. I also find that helps to write any worries down on paper before bed.

StressedandFrazzled Fri 14-Jun-13 11:27:48

I struggle to sleep well if I've had caffeine in the pm, or chocolate or champagne/vodka etc. I know myself now and what stimulates me - a good party, interesting conversation etc. Reading is very good before sleep too and a day with exercise.

snowymum12 Fri 14-Jun-13 11:28:17

We invested in a fan before our baby was born and have liked the cool, gentle breeze and slight thrumming noise so much we've kept it in our room. Having a low level noise helps all our family sleep soundly.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Fri 14-Jun-13 11:28:46

Don't work shifts, especially not a floating shift pattern.

johnworf Fri 14-Jun-13 11:29:43

Black out blinds. Pure cotton bedding. Window open if possible. Milky drink before bed. Spritz of lavender on the pillow. Bed socks. Made sure you do the loo run to avoid getting woken by a full bladder! grin

Pickthatupplease Fri 14-Jun-13 11:35:00

No screens at least half an hour before bed for the children (not me though), have them read a book instead in their own beds, on their own!

poachedeggs Fri 14-Jun-13 11:35:50

Do you have any advice of your own to share on how to sleep well?
Yes. Use contraception.

Other than that, reading before bed is my top tip. It fills your brain with something other than the jumble of thoughts which usually occupies it, and then once you've started reading the same paragraph three times you'll nod off as soon as you put the light off. No caffeine after 3pm, cool room with an open window, warm bed, blackout blinds and if I've done all that and I still can't sleep it's usually because I've forgotten to roll onto my front.

What do you make of Professor Colin's tips?
He has quite a sexy voice so I got a bit distracted. But they seem like sound advice to me. He could read bedtime stories!

Lavender oil and a good book. I second the no screen time - have been really bad at checking emails on my phone lately and it's not good for relaxation!

Lent1l Fri 14-Jun-13 11:43:36

I have a little routine which starts with brushing my teeth, using the loo, cleansing my face then into our bedroom, apply foot cream and hand cream. All these things let my body know I am winding down. Sometimes that is enough, other times I read for 10 minutes or so until my eyes are heavy, switch off the light and I just drift off.

If all that fails I start to work out how to spend a large lottery win!!! Before I've spent the first million I'm always asleep!!!!

MsMarple Fri 14-Jun-13 11:44:57

I find reading text books sends me right off, especially if there is something complicated in them that I really need to remember.

CuppaSarah Fri 14-Jun-13 11:44:58

Unlike everyone saying about no screen time I find watching something thats a bit mindless and falling asleep to it every night really good. We watch a certain youtubers videos every night, and we've conditioned ourselves to feel tired whenever we hear the guys voice. It's usefull since even if our evening routine is ruined we still can get to sleep easy.

Altough DD looks at the computer screen like it's a good friend when she hears it.

IceNoSlice Fri 14-Jun-13 11:53:13

No TV in the bedroom and resist the urge to check your phone for mumsnet emails etc before going to sleep. Calming colours in the bedroom and keep it as clutter free as possible.

maloofysmum Fri 14-Jun-13 12:07:40

Really good tips on the clip, I like to read before bed usually a fluffy read that isn't too taxing, I make sure the room is cool(ish) as if i'm too hot I can never sleep. I second TotallyEggFlipped about having a drink by the bed as hate waking up thirsty then having to get out or try and sleep but get those annoying dreams where your dying to get a drink but can't grin

listen to a guided meditation where the aim is to relax rather than sleep - you naturally do fall asleep but you are not trying to sleep itms. i listen to one most nights as i have had problems with sleeping in the past.

LLW Fri 14-Jun-13 12:30:27

No screens, not too much alcohol (makes me sleepy but then I wake up 2 hrs later), and bio-ear ear plugs. The older I get, the more this applies - sad but true...

katiewalters Fri 14-Jun-13 12:51:39

no tv or anything about an hour before bed, i normally just read a book. go to bed when you actually feel tired, as then you will fall asleep much quicker, rather than going when your not tired and lying in bed awake for ages. i make sure we keep the bedroom well aired and open windows in the day, so the air is well circulated and its not stuffy or dusty. a good mattress and decent pillows can help too

vixo Fri 14-Jun-13 12:53:18

Send the children to stay with their adoring grandparents. Works every time!

lottietiger Fri 14-Jun-13 12:57:03

The best cotton bed linen you can afford, washed regularly so its nice & crisp, a drink of squash, a good book, follwed by a good cuddle! smile

dotcomlovenest Fri 14-Jun-13 12:57:48

I use a 2 hour sleep hypnosis video from youtube.
When it starts now I am asleep within 10 mins.

I too like the tip about letting sleep happen to you. However, this is not really an issue as I have a 9 month old baby! However, my top tips for bedtime as not going to bed too late and thus missing my sleep window. I usually go at the same time each night which helps too, I feel. I like to read for a bit to unwind my mind, I like nice sheets and comfy bedding, being not too hot or cold, and a dark quiet room! We don't have a tv in our room but DH does sometimes look at his ipad which drives me mad as I cans till hear it if he's still awake. I love bed!

Being physically tired helps, and I really like low light for a bit of reading at bed time. Colin's tips about going to bed when you get the sleepy cue from your body is hilarious! Does that give me permission to lie down next to my desk at work at 11:15 am? wink

SnowyMouse Fri 14-Jun-13 13:17:48

I find a no screens ban the hour before bed helps.

Reastie Fri 14-Jun-13 13:47:23

YY to don't have children wink

I have problems on and off with sleeping and find reading just before I go to sleep really helps, and going on my computer just before bed always makes it harder to get to sleep. Personally I like listening to talk radio on a sleep timer to help me drift off to sleep, but realise this might not be great advice. I can recommend getting a lovely duvet to sleep in though, I got one a few months ago and it's soooo snuggly, didn't realise how awful my old one was.

Reastie Fri 14-Jun-13 13:48:12

I mean actual duvet there, not duvet cover (although duvet cover works too)

NorthernFlower Fri 14-Jun-13 14:03:12

I keep my bedroom for sleep, by which I mean no tv or laptop in there. It's painted in a darker, more relaxing colour and I keep it cool if possible as I struggle to sleep when the room is too warm.

I have bouts of insomnia and have come to accept them as being normal for me rather than worrying about them. The tip about sleep being something that happens to you is a good one and one I'll keep in mind next time the insomnia strikes.

HALA Fri 14-Jun-13 14:08:03

Make sure your room is dark. Do not go on the computer for at least 2 hours before bed-time.

thestylethatdecadesforgot Fri 14-Jun-13 14:11:09

Sorry I haven't read the posts before, I'm just adding my bit!

I think it helps to have the bedroom as uncluttered as possible, and make sure the bed is made neatly. Even when we've done bedtime with the children and our bed is all messed up from them clambering on it, I always remake it so when we go to bed later it looks nice. I think that makes the bedroom a relaxing, calm place to go and it makes you want to go to bed and sleep.

Also, my husband swears by having the window open a little bit and letting some fresh air in. We do this all year round. It stops the room getting stuffy and feels like it's doing you good! We also keep the curtains open about a foot, which allows the natural darkness outside to help you think of sleep. It also means we are woken a bit more naturally with the morning light at the other end of the day.

thestylethatdecadesforgot Fri 14-Jun-13 14:13:08

Also I really liked the tip in the radio clip that sleep happens to you and that you have a sleep window. I often miss mine because I just have one more job to do before everything is sorted out before bed and then I feel alert again and can't get to sleep. Going to try and work on that!

carovioletfizz Fri 14-Jun-13 14:14:55

I find that it's easier to fall asleep (if you struggle) if you loosen up all your limbs, unclench your fists and make sure arms and legs aren't crossed. Don't ask me why, it just seems to help.

WildThongsHeartString Fri 14-Jun-13 14:24:13

Calm atmosphere and fresh sheets and a cool bedroom, always works for me. I'm probably being over strict but don't have tvs in bedrooms as we keep the gaming/computer etc all downstairs. I think I may have read somewhere that the brain then associates the bedroom with sleep and not other stuff.

Katiepm Fri 14-Jun-13 14:27:27

We downloaded the baby sleep app and it was AMAZING - a choice of white noise and it worked like a magic pill for our LO. (Hairdryer was the fave)
I find personally that the lavender sleep sprays work wonders for me, I just drift off straight away and that is coming from someone who had MAJOR sleep issues as a child!

At 36 weeks pregnant, I can wholeheartedly recommend lots of pillows for positioning and gaviscon at bedtime to help make getting to sleep as easy as possible. Other than that I can only imagine how much better I could sleep if I didn't have to get up and wee frequently. Short of having a catheter, I don't think that sleep is going to improve for the next few weeks months grin

DinoSnores Fri 14-Jun-13 14:51:03

Like someone above, I have lots of dreams and really need tips for excessive dreaming. It sometimes does not make for a restful night as I wake up feeling like I've been active all night.

Trills Fri 14-Jun-13 14:53:50

Sleep is like a cat - it only comes to you if you don't try.

Or so I hear.

fuzzpig Fri 14-Jun-13 15:35:11

My main one is an adult is to never sleep in the day. I have an illness that means I need to rest a lot so it is tempting to just stay in bed but it really does mess up my sleep at night so I only nap if I am really really ill.

I avoid caffeine too unless really desperate. I don't like coffee or tea so it's only the occasional Pepsi but it is really shocking how much it affects me, I guess because I've never built up a tolerance to it.

No screens in bedrooms. I went through years as a teen unable to sleep without a VHS DVD on all night.

If you can't sleep it's better to get up and do something for a little bit (reading in low light perhaps) than lie there frustrated.

eteo Fri 14-Jun-13 15:59:32

i use lavendar pillow spray! it help!

Littlecherublegs Fri 14-Jun-13 16:29:27

Me and my DH always go to bed together at the same time - that helps me to get a good nights kip - a nice kiss & cuddle before falling asleep in each others arms feeling safe, wanted, loved and protected!!

(yes, pass the sick bucket I know..... soppy but true!!)


overthemill Fri 14-Jun-13 16:34:36

If I can't drop off I get up and do something gentle for about half an hour. Could be flick through a magazine, read a chapter or book or listen to my ipod (I have a 'relaxing songs' playlist). Usually find that's all I need and can sleep straight away.

malachite Fri 14-Jun-13 16:36:07

My tips would be to avoid caffeine after midday and always go to bed around the same time. Even if you don't feel tired, go and lie down with no distractions and you will often fall asleep.

Fresh air during the day at some point and no screens in the bedroom are my good sleep rules

bluebunny Fri 14-Jun-13 17:40:26

Unfortunately my younger son still wakes at night so I rarely feel like I have slept well! But my tips would be go to bed when tired not before or after as this can lead to non sleeping. Have a bath before bed and make sure bed is comfortable (clean sheets good pillows etc) read a bit before sleep but nothing too stimulating. Do not have a child who wakes and wear earplugs if too light a sleeper!
Re the Boots tips, I like what he said about sharing responiblity for sleep as a family as I know that if this doesn't happen resentment can build up for the person getting the least sleep.

I thought the clip would be full of things I have already heard, but I loved the tip about not panicking. If i can't sleep I start to worry about how bad the next day will be and how I will face a stressful day at work. I will try and switch off from that from now on and just accept if I can't sleep.

I always sleep better after a lovely, warm bath and fresh bedding. Maybe its all in my mind but it just makes me so much more relaxed. I also have to be warm enough in bed to fall asleep.

Always sleep with a window open so there is air in the room and buy the best bed you can possibly afford. Those 7-8 hours in it are so important.

I had a really bad time with not sleeping a couple of years ago. A friend told me to try eating a banana and having a milky drink. I laughed at her saying it wouldn't work. It did, I slept so much better after that and kept it up until my natural sleeping pattern had improved.

smokinaces Fri 14-Jun-13 18:09:28

Put your mobile phone in another room. The amount of people who say they can sleep, but straight away reach for their phones.

Get a good mattress topper.

Get a blackout blind.

Wind down. Spend twenty minutes calming down with no screens.

Develop a routine. Bath, book, bed. Weirdly doing the same thing each night prepares your body for sleep, just like babies.

XBenedict Fri 14-Jun-13 18:11:47

Make your bedroom somewhere nice to be, clear the clutter, make it a peaceful space to be. No computers/tvs/mobiles - easier said than done!

mrsbunnyw Fri 14-Jun-13 19:27:58

I know this won't work for everyone, but the best thing I have found is to have a bedroom all to myself - my husband and I have separate rooms, initially so he wasn't disturbed by the children when they were babies, but we have grown to prefer it anyway. It means that no-one elbows me in the head, turns on the light at the wrong time, snores or steals the duvet, and we don't have to go to bed or get up at exactly the same time. If we are away and have to share a bed, I never sleep anywhere near as well.

NettleTea Fri 14-Jun-13 21:16:53

I have no tips, sadly, but am reading with interest, as I have no trouble dropping off but wake several times a night (a habit I sadly picked up from my son, from 7 years ago)

bumpandbeyond Fri 14-Jun-13 21:17:49

I put ear plugs in my ears, that cuts out the snores and small noises. If children are distressed and calls/shouts, I can still hear them and get to them immediately (right next door).

Surf25 Fri 14-Jun-13 22:02:15

I too liked the tip on the audio clip about sleep being something that happens to you, not something you can turn off but something that you can turn off. Think that is quite pertinent to me if I have a broken night's sleep as I worry myself about not getting back to sleep, probably meaning I don't get back to sleep as I should just try and relax about it. Easier said than done but practice would probably help

I have to say that I also have a better nights sleep in my own bed. I do share my bed with my husband, and we dont actually bother each other very often at all, and he doesn't snore which is itself a bonus! But, when we've had our kids we have slept seperately so he could get the sleep he needed for work and I have to admit sometimes it's crossed my mind to go back to my own bed since, long after the kids sleep through!

Bath, warm drink, few pages of a good novel, clean bedsheets and pyjamas usually do it for me. Oh, and the cold side of the pillow!

tinypumpkin Fri 14-Jun-13 22:11:56

Another one who has to write things down else they prey on my mind and stop me sleeping. A pen and pad by the bed (old school!) helps with this for me. I am a overthinker so need to try and 'empty' my mind if that makes sense.

CairngomRockHunter Sat 15-Jun-13 06:48:48

If you are still at the 'broken night' stage (and don't worry, it is only a stage, it will get better),and you are planning to share the hard work then base your rota on a 2 or even 3 night cycle.
If you switch duty every night then you never really any recovery time. To cat,h up on missing sleep you need at least 2 nights in a row so your brain really does switch off from all the noise and you sleep a lot deeper.

vincenta Sat 15-Jun-13 07:22:57

For me the most important thing before I go to sleep is fresh air, that's why I open window and let fresh air in. It always help! Afterwards I only put my head on the pillow and I am fast asleep! Comfortable pillow is important too!

winkygirl Sat 15-Jun-13 07:36:38

I have to admit I didn't know there was a sleep hormone! I will be more aware now of looking for the signs of my body heading towards sleep.

On good days I turn the tv off at 10pm and spend 10 mins pottering around downstairs taking dishes to kitchen, plumping up cushions, preparing the teapot/breakfast things for the morning. Somehow it helps me relax and sleep knowing everything is ready for the morning.

goldenretriever Sat 15-Jun-13 08:19:22

Have lavender scents by your bed.

serendipity1980 Sat 15-Jun-13 08:44:46

I'm trying to avoid using phone and iPad before going to sleep, I turn them off and read, even if it's only 5-10mins, just to settle my mind and relax.
Thankfully our DC are good sleepers (age 5 & 3.5yrs) so we are very lucky.

Wheresthecoffee Sat 15-Jun-13 08:56:09

A good mattress and something to read for ten minutes

peronel Sat 15-Jun-13 09:32:52

A tablespoon of diatomaceous earth in a glass of water. As side effects you will have softer skin, stronger nails, better digestion and no parasites! Good for killing ants too... It's amazing stuff!

hjmiller Sat 15-Jun-13 09:57:46

Am I the only one disappointed by the sleep tips in the audio? I was hoping for something more practical to help me get back to sleep after the 4am feed when both hubby & baby are snoring and keeping me awake! I usually just hope I'm too tired to care & will sleep anyway but the last couple of weeks this hasn't worked!

Ida3456 Sat 15-Jun-13 10:40:25

A decent mattress is the key - it is worth spending money on one that is really good quality. I think you're supposed to replace them every ten years as well!

SunshinePanda Sat 15-Jun-13 15:19:54

I think the hardest part, for me, isn't getting to sleep but waking early. The only way I know to avoid just going over things in my head until morning is to get up. The only thing is then I'm too tired! Will try thinking that sleep just happens and isn't a choice and see if that helps.

whattodoo Sat 15-Jun-13 15:25:27

I always have a check around to make sure that I'm ready for tomorrow - breakfast stuff prepared, uniforms clean, birthday cards written, to-do list ready, etc.
Then as soon as my head hits the pillow I can switch off.
I used to take ages to nod off, but since having DD I am usually exhausted by the time I hit the sack.

janine1975 Sat 15-Jun-13 16:20:58

I find going for brisk walks in the great british weather followed by a relaxing soak gaurantees a good nights sleep

themaltesecat Sat 15-Jun-13 16:24:29

Taking the time to take off makeup properly, put at least toner on your skin, and a nice moisturiser (Estee Lauder, Soap and Glory).

The motion of the fingers on your face as you swirl the products around your face is really soothing, and does help you feel sleepy.

Also: red tea.

absterbabe69 Sat 15-Jun-13 17:58:31

my two go to bed at 6pm and watch ceebeebies till 7pm and normally asleep by then, I do find that if my little boy who is year and half has a nap after 12 in afternoon he wont sleep for ages so only aloud a morning nap

callmeovercautious Sat 15-Jun-13 22:31:27

Having had a DC that did not sleep through the night until 6 years old I am an old hand at insomnia and sleep deprevation! Sleep deprevation caused us alot of issues as a family and led to us asking for professional advice.

I have 3 top tips:

Go to bed when you are tired - don't stay up late if you don't have to

When trying to fall asleep tense each part of your body from toe to scalp for a count of 5 then relax for 5. It really calms you.

If you wake in the night DO NOT GET UP. Stay in the same place and keeping your eyes closed "look at the black" and if needs be repeat the muscle relaxing from above.

Slowly this helps to retrain your body back into a good sleep pattern.

Also - do not be afraid to see a good GP and ask for help.

Babycarmen Sun 16-Jun-13 11:01:18

No coffee after 6pm. Also, I used to lie in bed playing about on my phone for at least 30-45 mins before I would go to sleep, since I cut that out I have been sleeping a LOT better.
I also bought an eye mask to wear at night through the Summer, I cannot sleep unless its pitch black!

Bladderama Sun 16-Jun-13 13:20:22

The tips were not what I was expecting but I did like the don't fight it just let it happen.
Another vote for a decent mattress and also going to bed when tired so that you don't fall asleep on the sofa. I never sleep properly when I wake up cold at 2am on the sofa and have to drag myself upstairs to bed.

Do not exercise after 9pm because that also affects your sleep.

QueenBey Sun 16-Jun-13 13:37:43

I try and get the temperature of the room right, in winter I put the heating on or add extra blankets or clothes. In summer I might put a fan on or open the window.

I turn off the tv and try and make it as quiet as possible, this might include giving my snoring husband a hard dig!

If i'm really struggling I listen to a hypnotherapy app 'I can make you sleep'.

Nigglenaggle Sun 16-Jun-13 21:35:00

There isnt any problem with me being able to sleep when I have time since becoming a parent so dont need sleep tips as such!! Thought the whole thing was common sense really. DH has a meditation tape he listens to as he drifts off, but probably spoilt by having to have one earphone out so he can hear the baby monitor.... Some advice on relaxation techniques would have been a good addition to the top tips I thought.

HannahLI Mon 17-Jun-13 15:03:21

I liked his tips they felt very natural and were all about listening to your own body. My top tip is to do with his first one "establishing a good bedtime routine". We love stories as part of our bedtime routine, recently my son has wanted more stories so we have started to do some with the light on, then when he snuggles in we turn the light off and I make up a story. I often ask my son what he wants the story to be about and it has turned the negative "turn the light off" into a really positive exciting time where he falls asleep remembering the new story.

nancerama Mon 17-Jun-13 22:07:52

Sleep "problems" are only problems if they bother YOU. Don't compare yourself or your family with other people.

DS is 2. He doesn't sleep through every night (he usually wakes once at around 3:30am and comes into my bed), or if he does sleep through, he decides 5am is morning. A so called sleep expert had me really doubting myself and my ability to parent because I hadn't dealt with this "problem". I felt dreadful about it and felt like an awful parent until it dawned on me that we are actually doing fine.

Ultimately though, he is happy and perky and although I wouldn't say no to a few extra hours in bed, we've got used to the situation and are doing fine.

malteser17 Mon 17-Jun-13 22:16:22

Before I had my son, I found about an hour of reading, doing logic puzzles, listening to music, having a bath, or yes, having sex before I tried to go to sleep really helped i.e. nothing that involved a screen. I have in the past played so much candy crush saga before bed that as soon as I closed my eyes I would see candies!

These days I'm lucky if I can get three hours sleep before my 3 month old son wakes up, and I seem to be at that permanent level of tiredness where I can fall asleep sitting upright feeding him and wake up hours later in the same position with him asleep in my lap. I'm fairly certain it's not the best quality sleep though!

Turnipvontrapp Tue 18-Jun-13 22:30:03

Exercise helps you sleep better. Alcohol makes for a rubbish sleep.

I've only ever had 2 nights where I couldn't sleep all night and it turned my lovely bed into a place of torture!

DrDolittle Tue 18-Jun-13 23:38:32

Vodka wink

DrDolittle Tue 18-Jun-13 23:39:15

And some nookie

smokinaces Wed 19-Jun-13 06:21:30

Oh yes drdolittle an orgasm is very good for sending one to sleep!!

sleepywombat Wed 19-Jun-13 06:29:19

Epsom salt bath.
Then transdermal magnesium spray massaged into feet & backs of knees.

Really works for me!

I cannot go on the computer in the evenings & chocolate or coffee after 4pm can sometimes keep me up.

jellyandcake Wed 19-Jun-13 09:10:14

Reading is the only way I can get to sleep - I fixate on petty/minor worries and the only way to shut that off is to read a comforting well-loved book.

utopian99 Wed 19-Jun-13 10:04:53

When I was small and put to bed awake I used to 'imagine' stories to myself to get to sleep; making you worlds where I could fly or grant wishes or breathe underwater - it actually still works for me, but whether I can teach it to our DS (6 months old!) remains to be seen...

wibblyjelly Fri 21-Jun-13 21:05:35

I always lie there, and remember exactly what I did all day. Normally asleep before I get to the end of the day

When I'm struggling to get to sleep, I imagine I'm in a huge bed. it's soft, with loads of pillows and a huge duvet. For some reason, the linen needs to be white. I imagine I'm sinking into my big, soft, white bed, all alone, with no children to listen out for!

kslatts Sun 23-Jun-13 08:53:13

Ensure your bedroom is a relaxing place, clutter free and quiet.

CatsInCustard Mon 01-Jul-13 15:58:07

The things I find that help me to sleep are:
-having a routine around bedtime
-not eating or drinking an hour before hand
-having a hot bath or half an hour just relaxing in bed
-planning the next day so my mind is not all over the place
-no screens or distractions near the bed
If after an hour if I still can't sleep then I do some reading before trying to sleep again

OPeaches Fri 05-Jul-13 22:36:01

It takes me anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours to fall askerp. I listen to yoga/medication type music - just non-descript soothing music - and find that helps. I concentrate on slow deep breathing as I listen. I've cut the timer for the music from 40 minutes down to 25 and am rarely aware of it stopping now, so it must be working.

Am so envious of people who shut their eyes and are happily snoring two minutes later. (I'm looking at you, DH)

Elainey1609 Mon 08-Jul-13 16:21:15

A little bit of music in the back ground.
No tv or computer in room
No big meals before bed time
Make sure I go to the loo
I use chill fm on the snooze button
a little lavender pillow spray
regular bed time and possibly a bubble bath

littlecabbage83 Tue 09-Jul-13 19:44:02

I can only sleep well on a firm mattress, so I'd always suggest trying out different mattress types before buying one to get the perfect one for you. smile

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-Aug-13 14:33:09

Congratulations Elainey1609, you've won the prize draw! We'll be in touch shortly grin

petalsandstars Fri 23-Aug-13 13:20:35

Quiet gentle music playing in the background as you go to bed helps to stop lots of thoughts running round your head as you can concentrate on the music rather than getting stressed about other things.

BadlyWrittenPoem Tue 22-Oct-13 21:12:35

Sleep happening rather than being something you do is a useful thing to know/remember.

I found the hypnobirthing tracks I listened to when pregnant sent me to sleep almost every time so I think sleep soundtracks are a good idea.

lisarose001 Fri 10-Jan-14 09:08:13

For good night sleep. You need to do exercise regularly, healthy eating also matter.

ScrambledEggAndToast Sun 08-Jun-14 10:32:54

I try not to use any electronic devices for about 1 hour before bed and usually read a book instead or spend time having a chat to DP. I make sure the room is really dark, we have black out blinds, and it is the right temperature. Luckily we live in a quiet area so not much noise but i still keep the windows shut to block out any noise. I try and go to bed at roughly the same time every night to keep to a routine.

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