There are so many sleep solutions around that it can be hard to decide which ones to try first.
While the perfect remedy for you is highly individual, depending on your unique preferences, I decided to trial a few to see if they worked for me.
I have never been a good sleeper. Always jealous of anyone who falls asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow, I lay awake for hours trying to fall into the land of nod.
I’ve tried working out in the morning, working out at night, having a light meal at night, cutting my nightly cup of tea, using various herbal teas, having a warm cup of milk, reading before bed, going to bed and getting up at the same time, counting sheep… you get the picture.
So, I decided to try a few remedies that I haven’t got on my insomniac resume with the hope I’d find at least one almost fail proof solution.
No tech before bed
Okay, sure, it’s not exactly new but I am guilty of never being able to stick to it. So, as part of this experiment I decided I would do it right.
For two weeks I would switch the TV off at 9pm, pack my laptop away and turn my mobile phone face down. It wasn’t easy, I missed catching up on my favourite shows and scrolling through Instagram but after a few days it became second nature. While I wouldn’t say I slept like a baby, there were nights where I definitely felt that it was easier to relax and fall asleep. Mostly the routine aspect of it all was most beneficial for me.
Having never done acupuncture before I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Bartley Melocco from Seven Ways Health Centre in Bondi makes me feel completely at ease – even though it’s starting to sink in that I will soon have many fine needles poking out of my body, but anything for a good night’s sleep, right?
After an in-depth consultation about my health, past and current, Bartley begins the treatment consisting of acupuncture around all my troublesome areas. After an hour I feel very light-headed, but strangely serene. With instructions to head home and hydrate, I do just that and have one of the best sleeps of my life. The constant tension in my neck and shoulders eased and I felt like I had a properly restful sleep. Each consultation is tailored to your personal ailments, as will be the number of times they are advised to return for repeat treatments.
Me being me, I haven’t gone back as yet even though it’s recommended so the effects have worn off, but if you’re a bit more disciplined than myself and see it as more of an aid than a one-off fix, it could be the remedy for you.
Living in a busy area, surrounded by high-rise apartments means there is always some kind of noise to contend with when I’m trying to fall asleep or stay asleep.
So, when I heard about Bose’s noise-masking sleepbuds I was keen to try them. These wireless buds are different in the fact that they don’t stream music or have acoustic noise cancellation, but they are pre-loaded with soothing sounds to mask your raucous neighbours or that annoying road noise.
While you may think wearing buds to bed is a bit strange, the buds fit comfortably in your ear and all that’s left to do is download the app on your phone. Select your soundtrack of choice from Tranquillity to Swell, hit play and you’re ready to sleep soundly.
Although these didn’t necessarily help me get to sleep faster, they were successful at blocking out any noise and I didn’t wake up once during the night. You can also set an alarm through the app and it will play through the buds – great as well if you’re partner gets up at a different time.
I was never keen on wearing those futuristic-looking wraparound blue-light blocking glasses, but when I saw these specs that look like normal reading glasses I was more intrigued.
These can also be made with your prescription if you already wear glasses, too. They aim to help your body’s natural circadian rhythm by blocking any artificial light, which messes with your body’s natural relaxation method, including LEDs, fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, meaning I don’t have to give up tech at 9pm every night.
Most glasses use a lens coating to reflect the blue light that confuses our body, but EXYRA’s lenses are instead made using photochromic dye that absorbs and blocks blue light from entering the retina.
I was surprised to find that after using these for three weeks, in conjunction with a routine of getting into bed by 10pm, I found it slightly easier to sleep.
This app, for me, was a complete game changer. The Calm app is a one-stop shop for a whole host of guided meditations, which also put me to sleep, and a range of sleep stories narrated by people such as Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley that are all designed to send you to dream land.
The key, I think, is to find the narrator who best makes you fall effortlessly into sleep because I found some didn’t. For example, my go-to was Alan Sklar, while Joanna Lumley (as much as I love her) failed to even get me drowsy. Apart from this instance, there was only one other time where I still found myself awake after the story finished. However, this was during a bout of jetlag, so not in my usual state.
Having gone through my entire life thinking I simply have to deal with being tired every day, I was ecstatic to find something that works. While I can’t guarantee it will work every single time for everyone, it’s a great start.